Lately (Winter)

Making: MEL&NYC festival plans – restaurants booked, galleries will be visited, talks to be attended Continue reading

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Woman of Substances by Jenny Valentish

I saw author Jenny Valentish speak at last year’s Melbourne Writers Festival. At the time, I hadn’t read her memoir, Woman of Substances – I often wonder how much my thoughts about a book are influenced by hearing the author speak before I’ve read it. Invariably their passion and post-publication reflections rub-off, and I go into the reading experience ‘looking out’ for certain things, which is why I left Woman of Substances almost a year before picking it up.

Woman of Substances is a memoir-research hybrid. Valentish uses her own experience of drugs and alcohol to explore how women deal with addiction and treatment. There are two main threads in the book – firstly, Valentish examines how trauma and self-destructive behaviours – such as eating disorders and high-risk sex – complicate substance use for women.

There’s an illusion of power in being as sexually aggressive as men are allowed to be, but it can sometimes take a stupefying blood-alcohol level to override the misgivings. Continue reading

Melbourne Writers Festival 2017 – Day 3

 

Second Generation Narratives

My third day at MWF started with an incredibly impressive panel – Randa Abdel-Fattah, Maxine Beneba Clarke, AS Patrić and Alice Pung (chaired by Arnold Zable) – discussing the second-generation Australian experience and how it’s reflected in literature. Continue reading

Melbourne Writers Festival 2017 – Day 1

I’m going to events over three days of the ten-day 2017 Melbourne Writers Festival (so there’ll be two more posts like this one). Today, the focus of the sessions I attended were on health.

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Sample Saturday – three from authors I’ll be seeing at MWF

Sample Saturday is when I wade through the eleventy billion samples I have downloaded on my Kindle. I’m slowly chipping away and deciding whether it’s buy or bye.

This week, all three books are by authors I’ll be seeing at the Melbourne Writers Festival later this month. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. Are we excited about the Man Booker 2017 longlist? I’ve read two (Exit West – didn’t like it much at all; Swing Time – loved some bits, other bits not so much) and have one more in the reading pile (The Underground Railroad). I’m intrigued by 4 3 2 1 and Lincoln in the Bardo. Tell me who you think will win and I’ll endeavour to read those before it’s announced so I can feel smug about being ahead of the curve 🙂 Continue reading