Book inspired by PhD

AUTHOR: Ashleigh Watson-Kirby has written a book Into the Sea as part of a PhD in sociology and how it shapes lives.

AUTHOR: Ashleigh Watson-Kirby has written a book Into the Sea as part of a PhD in sociology and how it shapes lives.

Growing up in the Redlands has helped shape Asheigh Watson-Kirby's first novel Into the Sea, released through academic publishers Brill.

The novel formed part of her PhD, awarded in late 2018, which looks at how social and cultural influences shape lives.

Dr Watson-Kirby, 29, said she wrote the book hoping for it to be a a "bed for sociologically imaginative questions to flower in".

"An experiment in sociological imagination, the novel weaves together themes on family, work, gender, class, neoliberalism, crisis, and the white bubble," she said.

Set mostly in Sydney, the story addresses a year in the life of Taylah Brown, who at 25 considers who she is and what she might want to be.

"The book interrogates the promises and fictions of our dominant cultural narratives like the Australian Dream. I was teaching a lot of introductory undergraduate courses while writing this book, and thinking on the value of learning the sociological imagination no matter your field or area of interest," she said.

"I turned to fiction in my PhD as a tool to help young people better understand insights into social sciences and social patterns."

Dr Watson-Kirby attended Carmel College and studied sociology as a post graduate, later working at Griffith University and the University of London.

The book costs $33 and can be bought through brill.com and regular book sites and is dedicated to her family.