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Friday, August 20, 2010

August 17th


* Recently discussed “ The March Of Patriots” and “The Politics Of Suffering” have both been short-listed for the John Button Prize for non-fiction.

*Melbourne Writers Festival- Special appearances from New York Times bestselling novelist Bret Easton Ellis, much loved screenwriter and director across film, t.v and the web Joss Whedon (Toy Story, Avengers, Buffy, Firefly, Glee) and one of Australia’s most critically acclaimed writers for young people Melinda Marchetta (Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca, The Piper’s Son).

*Melbourne Writers’ Festival- Geelong Tour! Authors Simmone Howell, Jack Heath, Michael Pryor and Penni Russon will make appearances at Geelong at the West Town Hall on Saturday 21st.
Check for details.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Roseanne Hawke author of ‘Marrying Ameera’

“ Seventen-year-old Ameera Hassan has just finished school and her friendship with Tariq, her best friend’s older brother, is growing. When her Muslim father hears of it, he sends her to stay with his family in Kashmir where – as far as she knows – she is to attend her cousin Jamila’s wedding. Only when she gets there does she discover the devastating truth that the intended marriage is not her cousin’s but her own”. [From the cover blurb of “ Marrying Ameera”.]

Roseanne is still a teacher in Adelaide, but has quite a long list of published works, mostly for younger children. Her latest book sits in that genre that reaches [ I would say] across Older Teen into the Adult
reader group, in the way of “ Looking For Alibrandi” or “ The Boy In Striped Pyjamas”, Rosanne is well-placed to write on this topic having spent nearly a decade working as a volunteer in Pakistan. She said it was partly the shock she registered upon returning to Australia amid the new and raucous concerns about our alleged over-generosity to refugees: how would she and her family have felt if they were fleeing a war zone and were trying to find a new life in a peaceful country like Australia? Hence the gradual emergence of this new book.

A feature of the novel which I found striking was the revelation that both the Pakistan government and the British have strong legislation against ‘forced marriage’ and have put in place ways of preventing such abuses as well as processes for helping the victim…..Just look at the headlines if you think such things do not happen.

This is a convincing story though fictional. We feel confronted by the brazen brutality of Ameera’s cousin in his efforts to “protect’ her; the climax following the forced marriage is devastating yet believable.

I think this is a MUST READ for all of us, young people and adults alike. As a nation we are still complacent in less or greater degrees to the world issue of refugees. [I am proud of the efforts of so many in our region who have opened their hearts to so many in recent years, by the way.]


“Marrying Ameera”, A&R, $19-95,pp 292…Available now in all good bookshops.


This is a new feature on our blog so if you like the songs we play you can look them up.

The week on the show we played tracks from up-and-coming Australian artists:

- ‘Darling’ by Country Town Collective
- ‘At the Gate’ by Jehan
- ‘Sweet Disposition’ by The Temper Trap


We have all our regulars plus a guest reviewer, SUSAN DODD, who will be reviewing ‘Hail & Hardy’. We will also chat to our friends at Angus & Robertson about new releases and what’s popular in the literary world right now.

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