The right kind of problem: harm minimisation in an intersectional anthology

No Award is very pleased to bring you a guest post today from Rivqa Rafael about the Problem Daughters anthology, and the processes the editors are going through to create a diverse and inclusive anthology. 

Problem Daughters will amplify the voices of women who are sometimes excluded from mainstream feminism. It will be an anthology of beautiful, thoughtful, unconventional speculative fiction and poetry around the theme of intersectional feminism, with a specific focus on the lives and experiences of women of colour, QUILTBAG women, disabled women, sex workers, and any intersection of these.

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book review: asia on tour: exploring the rise of Asian tourism

Recently Steph had an article at Overland, A short history of the dangers of travel writing. This is a part of how she wants to write more about decolonising travel, and you’re going to be seeing more of that here on No Award. Today, a book review: Asia on Tour: Exploring the Rise of Asian Tourism, edited by Tim Winter, Peggy Teo and T.C. Chang.

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No Award reads Auslit (that’s set in England and France): Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta

Bashir “Bish” Ortley, a London cop — currently suspended after his drinking problem led to an incident with another cop — gets a phone call: a bus full of British schoolkids has been bombed in France, and his teenage daughter was on board.

And worse, one of the other passengers is Violette LeBrac, whose mother has been in prison for thirteen years after she confessed to helping her father bomb a supermarket — and Bish was the cop who took four-year-old Violette from her mother’s arms after the arrest.

Violette is the obvious suspect, but before the investigation can even begin, she has disappeared, taking a thirteen-year-old boy with her.

Controversial OzYA opinion: I’m really ambivalent about Melina Marchetta’s work. Looking for Alibrandi was my favourite book in grade nine, but then it became assigned reading for grade twelve advanced English, and didn’t really hold up.

So I’m not a wholehearted Marchetta fan. I’ve liked some of her books, hated one, didn’t bother with her fantasy series. And YET, when I heard that her next book was a thriller aimed at an adult audience, I was intrigued. (Crime fiction: my other passion.) I bought Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil from Kobo and spent the weekend on the couch, inhaling it.

It was wonderful.

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Called-out author bingo

Does it even matter what inspired this? The sad truth is that all this has happened before, and will happen again, for as long as agents keep repping racist books and publishers keep buying them.

There’s hope for change, in that the massive outpouring of criticism in this instance has persuaded the publisher to move the release date so that the manuscript can be revised, and the attempts to destroy Justina Ireland’s career have been unsuccessful — but this is an extreme case, and meanwhile, how many microaggressions are slipping through?

The world doesn’t need another white lady with an opinion here, so instead, I have made a bingo card for use whenever a pasty-faced writer responds to a call out.

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Second Form at Malory Towers – Chapters 13 and 14

I have a new appreciation for Blyton right now, because I’ve been reading some early Angela Brazil novels, and, well.

Brazil was one of the pioneers of the girls boarding school novel as a genre in its own right, but her early stuff, at least, hasn’t aged well. I don’t just mean the old-fashioned, episodic narrative structure, I mean the bit where the heroine’s sister writes minstrel songs for a hobby (a … different term is used), or the long digression about the inhumanity of the Chinese. I have a new appreciation for Blyton’s “everyone is white, and we’ll just be prejudiced against the Europeans who aren’t English” approach.

(“Appreciation.”)

Anyway, stay tuned for more about Brazil in the podcast I’m launching with my friend Heidi in the new year. Yes, it’s about boarding school stories. Obviously.

When we left Malory Towers, scholarship girl Ellen was flouncing out in tears after Daphne makes a just-barely-inaudible jibe about her limited finances.

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Second Form at Malory Towers – Chapters 11 and 12

Previously at Malory Towers:

  • Daphne has come to secretly like Mary-Lou
  • Mary-Lou quite openly adores Daphne
  • The two Mam’zelles are feuding
  • Belinda has been entertaining her peers with satirical illustrations of the Mam’zelles’ French civil war
  • Alicia suggested that Belinda “accidentally” leave her sketches where Jolly Mam’zelle Dupont can find them — but knows it will in fact be Bad Tempered Mam’zelle Rougier who’ll see the unflattering pictures

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