Signs of Life Anthology

Artwork © Melanie van Kessel 2018— commissioned for Signs of Life anthology.

An international and unforgettable collection of memoir and fiction that explores experiences of mental and physical illness, and of care giving.

In a Californian cafe, a music-lover develops psychosis while drinking green tea. In a Ghanaian paediatric ward, a doctor cares for a boy with kidney disease, while definitive treatments remain out of reach. In Melbourne a mother watches as her son resists being taken to respite care.

This is not a book about death and dying. This is a book about life and how we live it. These stories reveal what is truly valued in this world, and speak to the ferocity with which we love.~

‘Signs of Life is an extraordinary anthology, an astutely put together collection, that peels away the layers of health so we can see the complexity underneath. Disease, illness, decline, and deterioration; all these failings of the human body are at the heart of this selection of poignant and beautifully written stories. Seen through the eyes of these talented writers, what we end up with is not despair and hopelessness, but a visceral understanding of the fierceness of being alive and the love that forms the scaffold of how we care for one another.’Michelle Johnston (Emergency Physician and Author of Dustfall)

‘I only wish that this anthology would find its way into the hands of every trainee health professional.’—Joanna Nell (GP and Author)

‘These writers have demonstrated that alongside change, loss, grief, and illness, there is courage, beauty, renewal, love, and a discovery of what it means to be human. I would highly recommend Signs of Life to anyone with an experience of illness and or caregiving—that is to say, everyone.’—Grace Chan (Psychiatrist and author of Every Version of You)

‘Breaks new ground.’—Al Campbell (Author of The Keepers)

‘A rich and varied set of ailment-related works.’—Kirkus Reviews (full review here)


Reinfred Dziedzorm Addo, Leah Baker, Emily Bourne, Rachel Burns, Josie Byrne, Ann Calandro, Al Campbell, Steve Cushman, Scott Dalgarno, D.E.L., Katie Danis, Jann Everand, Darci Flatley, Annette Freeman, Rebecca Garnett Haris, Rukayatu Ibrahim, C.A. Limina, Callum Methven, Vanessa McClelland, Peter Mitchell, Isabella Mori, Sophie Overett, C.A. Rivera, Janey Runci, Sarah Sasson, Nicole Zelnicker.~

book club questions

To download a set of questions to spark discussions at Book Clubs click here 

Available for purchase at  Gleebooks , Booktopia, Amazon and many of your favourite booksellers.~


Hear some of the contributing authors speak about their work and the writerly life.

Signs of Life event —  “From the Neck Up” features Sarah Sasson (Editor) in discussion with Emily Bourne, Cal Lamina, D.E.L., Rebecca Garnet Haris, Reinfred Diedzorm Addo, Josie Byrne, Isabella Mori, Callum Methven and Al Campbell. Discussions revolve around Neurodiversity, Mental Illness (including suicide), Memory Loss and also art, life and the craft of writing.

Signs of Life event —  “Everything Below The Neck” features Sarah Sasson (Editor) in discussion with Janey Runci, Steve Cushman, Jann Everard, Nicole Zelnicker, Scott Dalgarno, Annette Freeman, Peter Mitchell and Rachel Burns. Discussions revolve around the importance of diverse representation, living with cancer, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and the craft of writing.