Part memoir, part fiction, part meditation on perception, reality and writing, Navigatio is a poetic journey into the hidden regions of the self. This novella, first published in 1996, is Alison Croggon's first prose work.
“Find a comfy chair and a quiet room before you embark on Navigatio. Though slim, Alison Croggon’s first novel is not light. Prose narrative overlaps poetry to produce a work densely packed with images and voices. The past, the present and the imagination are all invoked, making the reader constantly reassess and reconsider what has gone before.Croggon, widely known as a poet, mixes her own story of migrating with others. One of these others is a young mother who is travelling to Australia over a hundred years ago, and her feelings of melancholy, loss and looking are strikingly similar to the author’s own.What is to be trusted? Doubting God, Croggon and the characters ponder on the life of language, the nature of beauty and the cruelty of man. Who is to be known they ask, and how? Is a person’s fate wholly tied up in what has gone before? The awesome helplessness of just being borne along by life is wonderfully evoked in the final chapter, the logbook of a sea captain, dated 1869.”
— Australian Book Review
Highly commended in The Australian/Vogel Literary Award, 1995