In Do Not Go Gentle… Scott’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition is a metaphor for the elusive journey of five elderly people facing the final leg of their travels. Scott’s passage across the Antarctic, as he confronts a landscape of ice and perilous weather, powerfully parallels their courage and inevitable defeat. Yet with unbroken spirit, this funny, angry, defiant group grapple with the big questions of life as they rage against the dying of the light.
The Berry Man is a searing indictment of the consequences of war, with the humour and fragile, flawed characters that are a trademark of Cornelius’ writing. Eric, a Vietnam vet, has inherited a farm but struggles to grow a single crop. Marjorie, his fiercely independent but troubled neighbour, is unaware of the wartime horrors that plague him. And there’s Joey, a mysterious young man whose appearance prevents Eric from moving on. Then Fish arrives. A fellow vet holding onto the idea of mateship, he forces Eric to confront his memories and Marjorie to have the courage to follow her dreams before it’s too late.