Book Review — The Secret History (1992) by Donna Tartt

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. There is a moment in most readers’ lives that changes the way they think of first-person narrators: the moment they’re introduced to the idea of an unreliable one. (The … Continue reading Book Review — The Secret History (1992) by Donna Tartt

Book Review — The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. When I first read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929) in 2014, I put it down feeling that I’d been done a disservice. Not by Woolf – … Continue reading Book Review — The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood

Book Review — The Autograph Man (2002) by Zadie Smith

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. Unsympathetic male characters have never been a great draw for me. Making them intelligent, stupid, anarchic, suburban, idiosyncratic, neurotic, eccentric, romantic – it never really makes a … Continue reading Book Review — The Autograph Man (2002) by Zadie Smith

Book Review — The Watch Tower (1966) by Elizabeth Harrower

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. Until last year, The Watch Tower (1966) was Elizabeth Harrower’s last book. She attempted to write another, abandoned the project and retired from writing permanently. Then, in 2014, after producing a new … Continue reading Book Review — The Watch Tower (1966) by Elizabeth Harrower

Mos Def, aka Yasiin Bey — Supermagic ::

It seems fitting, after Michael Brown, and Walter Scott, and Freddie Gray, and with the Baltimore Uprising in full swing, to post this. I love this album, I think it’s one of the best ever made, and it opens with a quote you’ll hear if you play the song, a quote from Malcolm X, which, sadly, becomes more and more relevant: … you’re living at … Continue reading Mos Def, aka Yasiin Bey — Supermagic ::

Book Review — The Tall Man (2008) by Chloe Hooper

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. ‘Australian classic’ is a term I wouldn’t play around with. Mostly because I don’t think many exist. Those that have been branded as such, which spurred me into … Continue reading Book Review — The Tall Man (2008) by Chloe Hooper

Book Review — Housekeeping (1980) by Marilynne Robinson

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. I hated waiting. If I had one particular complaint, it was that my life seemed composed entirely of expectation. I expected—an arrival, an explanation, an apology. There … Continue reading Book Review — Housekeeping (1980) by Marilynne Robinson

Book Review — The Compass Rose (1982) by Ursula K. Le Guin

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck (2010), there is a great sense of continuity and wholeness. The stories are tied together … Continue reading Book Review — The Compass Rose (1982) by Ursula K. Le Guin

One hundred words on a village community’s relationship with water ::

In the northern foothills of the Alborz mountains, bordering the Caspian Sea, a small village community once existed. It thrived temporarily on the artificial water systems provided to it by a government that lasted not all that long, water pumped from the great dams that watered Tehran on the southern slopes of the mountains, water that ceased to be pumped when certain people ceased to … Continue reading One hundred words on a village community’s relationship with water ::

Book Review — Cranford (1853) by Elizabeth Gaskell

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. A fly-on-the-wall narrator is a dangerous device. In some cases, most notably F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, it is a boon, because the narratorial voice, the … Continue reading Book Review — Cranford (1853) by Elizabeth Gaskell

Book Review — We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2013) by Karen Joy Fowler

This review is part of the No Man’s Land Reading Project, an attempt to right a gendered imbalance in my reading and a general imbalance in the availability of reviews (by men, especially) of works by female authors. The first thing I said when I finished Karen Joy Fowler’s immensely popular, critically acclaimed, Man Booker Prize shortlisted seventh novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, … Continue reading Book Review — We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (2013) by Karen Joy Fowler

The No Man’s Land Reading Project

A few months ago I read an article by a female author who described the experience of signing her books for men who, as she signed, told her the book was for their mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, daughter, niece, and so on. They did also say they’d enjoyed the reading she’d given beforehand, but the fact that none of them was (admitting to) buying her … Continue reading The No Man’s Land Reading Project

NYWF in Review: Best Job or Total Flop with Ash Thomson

Originally posted on Scissors Paper Pen:
National Young Writers Festival has been and gone, but that festivalia feeling (and post-festival survey) is here to stay with our short series featuring Canberra writers recalling the best, worst, and most memorable bits of the NYWF twennyfifteen. We’re kicking off with Ash Thomson and his festival pick, Best Job or Total Flop, which featured Johannes Jakob, Kat Muscat, Alice Grundy, Zoya Patel and… Continue reading NYWF in Review: Best Job or Total Flop with Ash Thomson

My weird fish (aka my first ever zine) ::

This scanned, uploaded zine would not have existed without Safdar Ahmed, an inspiring, emotive man who ran a workshop at the 2014 National Young Writers’ Festival in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. I made it in the second hour of the two-hour session using this technique, which Safdar taught us, and its unselfconsciousness (a quality my writing usually lacks) owes a lot to his stories of the Refugee … Continue reading My weird fish (aka my first ever zine) ::