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Archives for November 2014
‘History is written by the winners’, why not start with that? Despite claims we live in some kind of glorious post-colonial world—where nation-states are free and independent, where Empire is a thing of the past—the world we live in and the history we learn is still very much narrated by the Anglosphere. I’ve become increasingly interested in the history of colonisation lately, both as a someone who’s lived my life on still-colonised land, and as a person with half my heritage, and extended family, in Malaysia—in a village they were forced to relocate to in the 1950s as part of […]
One of the reasons I began writing poems was my visible difference. I have severe spinal curvature, due to a genetic condition called Marfan Syndrome. This skeletal divergence from expected form began to appear as puberty arrived. My body seemed to have its own strange and willful poetry. Surgery gave it an order and stability. Still, I could not be ‘fixed’. Everywhere I went, I turned heads and seemed to prompt staring, that peculiar mix of discreet curiosity and hostility. I think I began to write poems so that this process could no longer be one-way, so that I could […]
I don’t wish to appear as an elitist—and I am more than happy to admit my fondness for heavy metal music, horror movies and very bad TV—but I also can’t deny feeling very anxious at one of the transit areas of the Charles de Gaulle Airport about 24 hours ago, after realising that most of the bookshops at the main airport of one of the world’s indisputable literary centres boast piles of Fifty Shades of Grey (in English and in French) alongside aisles of self-help wickedness and trauma-inducing tomes on business and money. I had already read the book that […]
Meanjin Podcast – Episode Seven
My days are usually spent reading for work. Proofreading can be tedious at times (cookbooks, finance texts), but I whoop with glee when a corker of a novel, memoir, collection, etc. lands on my desk. Standouts this year have been: Heat and Light, by Ellen van Neervan—a collection of unique, real/mythical short stories—and Gap, a crime novel in verse by Rebecca Jessen (reminiscent of Dorothy Porter). Another was Cracking the Spine (Spineless Wonders), featuring ten short stories from ten Australian writers, accompanied by an essay from each author offering insights into their writing process. Proofreading is a different type of […]