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Posts from the ‘Australian Authors’ Category

12
Sep

#AWW2019 ‘My trip Down Under’

Green Island Reef, Carins Australia

  1. It is time to turn off NETFLIX and
  2. ….get back to reading!
  3. I’ve made a list for
  4. ….my literary trip Down Under
  5. reading some great Australian female authors.
  6. It’s summer down there so here I come!
  7. List of Challenges 2019
  8. Monthly reading plan
  9. #AWW2019 
  10. @AusWomenWriters

 

My List:

  1. Everywhere I Look Helen Garner – READ
  2. A Kindness Cup – Thea Astley – READING  – paperback (…need magnifying glass!)
  3. Drylands – Thea Astley – audio book
  4. It’s Raining in Mango – Thea Astley audio book
  5. True Stories – Helen Garner – audio book
  6. Wild Sea: A History of the Southern Ocean – Joy McCann – Kindle
  7. Say No To Death – Dymphna Cusack – Kindle
  8. The Timeless Land – Eleanor Dark – Kindle
  9. The Man on the Headland – Kylie Tennant – Kindle
  10. The Commandant – Jessica Anderson Kindle
  11. The Torrents (play) – Oriel Gray – Kindle
  12. Highway of Lost Hearts (play) – Mary Anne Butler – Kindle
  13. Transparency (play) – Suzie Miller – Kindle
  14. SHIT (play) – Patricia Cornelius – Kindle
  15. Honour (play)Joanna Murray-Smith – Kindle
  16. The Dead Still Cry Out: Story of a Combat Cameraman – Helen Lewis – Kindle
  17. Danger Music – Eddie Ayres – Kindle
  18. Dr Space Junk vs The Universe: Archaeology and the future – Alice Gorman – paperback
  19. An Item from the Late News – Thea Astley – paperback

 

11
Sep

#AWW2019 Mary Anne Butler (playwright)

 

Conclusion:

  1. Some plays should not be analyzed…they just have to sink in.
  2. Mary Anne Butler
  3. …has written a phenomenal script.
  4. It is intimate, realistic and breathtaking drama.
  5. Three characters weave their story
  6. ….criss-crossing their lives with each other.
  7. I read the play 4 times:
  8. 1 x reading the role of Ham (man driving on desert road)
  9. 1 x the role of Ash (female in car accident)
  10. 1 x Mia (Ham’s wife…home alone after a great loss).
  11. Now I was ready to read the play
  12. with the voices echoing in my mind.
  13. This is THE best play I’ve read in a very….long time!
  14. Strong point:
  15. Stellar example of dramatic construction (dramaturgy)
  16. and …inventive dialogue!
  17. #MustRead….really a must!

21
Aug

#Poetry Omar Musa inspiring Australian voice!

 

Conclusion:

Parang – with a name like this (knife)
I expected blood, gore, guts.
I got insight, openness, much humanity,
at times a palpable joy.
No ‘Hippa to Da Hoppa’ rap beat
…only the beating of a true poet’s heart.
#EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD!

  1. LISTEN…THIS MAN HAS A WAY WITH WORDS!
  2. Omar Musa gets standing ovation in Sydney 2013 TEDx talk:

 

My notes:

What does ‘Parang’ mean?
Malaysian short stout straight-edged knife

Who is Omar Musa?

Omar bin Musa (1984)
is an award-winning author, poet and rapper from Australia.
He has released three solo hip hop records and three books of poetry.
His debut novel Here Come the Dogs was published in 2014.
Here Come the Dogs was long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award.
Musa was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Novelists of the Year in 2015.

What is his background?
Musa is the son of Australian arts journalist Helen Musa and
Malaysian poet Musa bin Masran.
He is of Suluk, Kedayan and Irish ancestry.
He studied at the Australian National University
and the University of California, Santa Cruz
Musa was the winner of the Australian Poetry Slam of 2008
that gives him a bit of clout

Structure:
Part 1 – Parang (14 poems) = 9 are excellent….5 are very good!
Part 2 – Lost Planet (8 poems)
Part 3 – Dark Streets (5 poems)

 

  • My notes for part 1
  • …I’ll let you discover the rest of Musa’s poems!
  • They are a joy to read!

 

Part 1
Trancevery good – poet feels contact with story telling ancestor
Parangvery good contrasting images of ‘parang’ guardian angel of gangsters
….but also house builder and opener of paths
Belongingvery good “crystal thread of belonging”
…in touch with ancestoral as “steam unwinds from stories”
Blowpipevery good – weapon of the forests shoot at “…the throat of the past.”
The Old Roosterexcellent– triangle: poet – parang – arrogant, stutting rooster
Muhammad and Muhammadexcellent– nephew and baby cousin meet
…” his feet bicycling in air” sees “…tigers the size of pillows”
The Rotten Toothvery good…never put off a dentist appointment!
“…tooth turned sewer-black”
Collapsed Starexcellent
young man meets old man…who taught him chess…”a collapsing star”
Lightnig Over Sandakan excellent – young man visits dying grandmother
“…memory trembles, rain-written”
FELDA excellent “…perfect pattern of oil-rich trees minting money
…there was jungle here once, fecund”
(The Federal Land Development Authority is a Malaysian government agency that was founded to handle the resettlement of rural poor into newly developed areas and to organise smallholderfarms growing cash crops.)
Sunyi – (Sanskrit ‘silent,empty’) – excellent – very touching jungle story
Forest Fireexcellent – jungle plundered for profit
A Homelandexcellent – poet’s return to his homeland…but it has changed! “Exile’s folly”
The Parang (knife) and the Keris (dagger)excellent description of poet’s own blade
“…I made it….found the iron ore….beat it into the Italic font I….sharpened it.

 

20
Aug

#AWW2019 Selina Tusitala Marsh Poet Laureate NZ

 

Selina Tusitala Marsh:

  1. Selina Tusitala Marsh is of Samoan, Tuvalu, English and French descent.
  2. She was the first Pacific Islander to graduate
  3. with a PhD in English from the University of Auckland and
  4. is now a lecturer in the English Department, specialising in Pacific literature.

 

  1. Oh, reading these poems with many
  2. Samoan words/references
  3. is going to be a challenge.
  4. Thank goodness….
  5. Ms Marsh has added a glossary for words the reader
  6. probably won’t understand.
  7. Thank you, poet laureate!

 

My notes on a few poems….

 

Googling TusitalaVery good…and clever!
Marsh has listed the choices Google returns
when she googles ‘Tusitala’.
Last line is the clincher that brings a laugh:
‘The tusitala bookshelf in barcelona@bookcrossing.com
— there’s no wrong way to eat a rhesus.”
(BookCrossing is the act of releasing your books
“into the wild” for a stranger to find via the website)

Not Another Nafanua Poem – good
First I have to look up nafanua!
— Nafanua is the Samoan goddess of war

Afaksai (half-caste) – very good, rich with Samoan words!

Calabash Breakers – good

Hone Said – so-so..too cryptic…see glossary!

Things on Thursdays
Very good… should sound familiar to all struggling
female writers balancing family, work and writing!

Song for Terry – good…intriguing because I cannot discover who “Anne” is!

Langston’s Mother (very short poem…)

absolutely stunning because this poem led me to Langston Hughes’ poem
Mother To Son….breathtaking.

Mother to Son   (Langston Hughes)

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

(…if you don’t get ‘skin shivers after reading this..you don’t have a pulse!)

 

Cardboard Crowns – very good
Sum of Mum – good, very clever!
Wild Horses – …need help understanding this one
Three to Four – intense…memories of a car accident
Le Amataga – not able to find something in this poem by myself…need the glossary!
Spare the Rod – This poem brings to mind ancient rock engravings…. not easy to grasp
A Samoan Star-chant for Matariki – too cryptic

…need more knowledge of Samoan words/myth
(In the Māori language Matariki is both the name of the Pleiades star cluster
and also of the season of its first rising
in late May or early June.
This is a marker of the beginning of the new year.)

Circle of Stones – Poems don’t have to be just understood…they can lead you to other things. This poem put in in touch with the Fale Pasifika at University of Aukland. Fale is the name a a Samoan building, the center of the community. On You Tube you can watch History of the Fale Pasifika….just filled with spiritual meaning for this University to let all Pacific people know they belong.

Guys Like Gaughin – very good…clever!
Nails for Sex – very good! This is based on history and is worth reading about before you start this poem…then it all will make sense!

Wikipedia HMS Dolphin 

Mutiny on Pitcairn – average

Two Nudes of a Tahitian Beach, 1894 – good…based on this painting by Gauguin

Venus in Transit – poem mentions many well known connections to Venus in Transit…..but who is Rowan? The poet refers to NZ author Rowan Metcalfe’s book Venus in Transit (2004). This novel tells the story from a new and unexpected perspective, that of the Tahitian women who joined the Bounty mutineers and sailed away with them to make new lives.

Realpolitik (expansionist national policy) -…reflecting on Capt. Cook/crew,  who brought disease to Tahitian women.

Contact 101 – how different people (philosopher, scientist, anthropologist) see South Pacific women

Has the whole tribe come out from England? – Wellington has been overrun by the British

What’s Sarong With This – pun…”What’s Wrong with This?” – very good, very intense!

 

The Curator – …description of a poem reading (Ms Marsh?) in a museum, sharp-edged.

Hawai’i: Prelude to a Journey – very good, glimpse of all sides of Hawaii and visitors….also a reference to a Hawaiian deity Pele, goddess of volcanos “…Pele’s pen, her black ink lava ever pricking the night.” There is so much in this poem you could spend some time investigating many aspects of this poem!

Touring Hawaii and Its People – very good….looking for ?? with a flowering crown in a museum. (..one of the Hawaiian monarchy?)

Alice’s Billboard – strange….can’t make head or tails of this one, sorry!

Fast Talkin’n PI – (title poem) – Oh, I think I finally found who “ANNE” is if the poem….”Song for Terry”!

Fast Talking PI (pronounced pee-eye) = pacific islander
reflects the poet’s focus on issues affecting
Pacific communities in New Zealand, and
indigenous peoples around the world
… including the challenges and
…triumphs of being afakasi (mixed race).

LISTEN TO THE POET HERSELF!

27
May

#Poetry Blakwork (title poem)

  • Author: Alison Whittaker
  • Title: Blakwork
  • Published: 2018
  • Publisher: @MagabalaBooks
  • Trivia: 2019 shortlist Victorian Premier’s Award Indigenous Writing
  • Trivia: 2019 WINNER Mascara Lit Review Avant-garde Award for literature
  • Trivia: 2019 shortlist ABIA Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year
  • List of Challenges 2019
  • Monthly plan
  • #AWW2019
  • @AusWomenWriters
  • Trivia: Review:  poem  Cotton On   (pg 15)

 

Cover:

  1. I was staring at the book  turning it front to back.
  2. Why the choice of a bird on the cover?
  3. Perhaps if you live in Australia  you know what it means.
  4. I had to find out more about the metaphor of a blackbird.
  5. Difficult to read….
  6. Origin of the term ‘blackbirding’:
  7. The term may have been formed
  8. …directly as a contraction of ‘blackbird catching’.
  9. Blackbird’ was a slang term for the local South Pacific indigenous people.
  10. It might also have derived from an earlier phrase,
  11. blackbird shooting’, which referred to
  12. recreational hunting of Aboriginal people by early European settlers

 

Title poem:      Blakwork  (pg 3)

  1. The sun rises 0530 am on this side of the world.
  2. No matter how hard I try…I’m wide awake at 0600 am.
  3. My eyes are not yet focused so I use a magnifying glass to
  4. …read the first poem in the chapter Whitework.
  5. Blakwork: 41 words that pack a punch.
  6. I didn’t realize that today (26 May) is #SorryDay in Australia
  7. This poem sums up the sentiment of
  8. …reconciliation from an other perspective.

 

  1. Type of Poem:  poet-in-conversation (present tense)
  2. Who is speaking?  Alison Whittaker the poet
  3. Who is ‘you’  in the poem?    White Australia
  4. Title:   Blakwork
  5. Australia’s slavery started because other countries abolished it.
  6. Aboriginal people were used in
  7. the pearling, sugar cane and cattle industries.
  8. They suffered terrible abuse and were denied their wages.

 

Conclusion:

  1. There is an energy…tension  in this poem.
  2. I tried to discover the  starting subject and
  3. …then the discovered subject in a poem.
  4. There is always a door to be opened the
  5. will lead you down another path
  6. …in this poem a ” cynical path”.

 

  1. Starting subject:
  2. blakfella works –> payment callous hands –> profit to white Australia
  3. Door: words   “white guilt”
  4. Discovered subject:
  5. Blakfella works –> payment now bound by contract (indentured)
  6. profit –> white Australia can have “soothing” feeling of reconciliation
  7. “nine to five forgiving you.”
  8. #powerful

 

 

BLAKWORK

  • Fresh blakwork; industrial complexes
  • hands with
  • smooth and flat palm callouses.
  •      Soothing re —
  •                         –conciliation
  • That dawdling off-trend meme
  • white guilt. To survive it; well,
  •      it’s naff to say, but compul–
  •                       –sory to do. Indentured blakwork, something like
  • nine to five, forgiv–
  •                      –ing you.

 

 

  1. Words I had to look up for a clear meaning of the poem:
  2. industrial complexes – (self-interest ahead of the well being of the Aboriginal people)
  3. dawdling – wasting time, idle, trifle
  4. meme –  behavoir
  5. naff – clichéd, unstylish
  6. indentured – bound by contract

 

24
May

#Poetry Alison Whittaker “Blakwork”

  • Author: Alison Whittaker
  • Title: Blakwork
  • Published: 2018
  • Publisher: @MagabalaBooks
  • Trivia: 2019 shortlist Victorian Premier’s Award Indigenous Writing
  • Trivia: 2019 winner Mascara Lit Review Avant-garde Award for literature
  • Trivia: 2019 shortlist ABIA Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year
  • List of Challenges 2019
  • Monthly plan
  • #AWW2019
  • @AusWomenWriters
  • Trivia: Review:  poem Blakwork  (pg 3) (title poem)

 

Conclusion:

  1. This book consists of 15 chapters and 94 poems.
  2. I still am trying to learn how to read a poem.
  3. I am going to read a poem …then really try to figure
  4. …out what the message is…or what do I see in the poem.
  5. More of my reviews about these poems
  6. …will appear during the summer..in drips and drabs.
  7. These poems will take time to read.
  8. The author has put so much thought into her words
  9. …I don’t want to rush my reading

 

  1. Poetry does not need a story…that is not its function.
  2. That is why poems sometimes make people cringe!
  3. The reader speaks English, the poem is in English
  4. and still the  reader (me)  has no idea what it means.
  5. This will be my biggest poetry reading challenge.
  6. Just look at the way the poems sit on the page!
  7. I glanced through the book and see images, emojis,
  8. poems with unique shapes, punctuation and lists.

 

  1. I am not going to review them in lofty poetic terms
  2. …but just by asking myself some basic questions.
  3. What is the shape of the poem? Who is speaking?
  4. What images does the poet use? Allusions?
  5. How do they make me feel? Stumped or enlightened?
  6. I’m even going to read the poems to the cat
  7. …I need to hear the sound!

 

  1. Poems tells us the history of the human heart.
  2. All poets are struggling with the different things:
  3. loneliness, racism, gender roles, sexuality
  4. colonialism, family, class, history,
  5. …violence, culture, pleasure, joy.
  6. I’m eager to learn what Alison Whittaker….
  7. …is struggling with.

 

 

Poem:      Cotton On            (pg 15)

 

let’s compare hands              s t r e t c h

 

tendons wrists across            o c e a n s

 

 

 

 

 

 

here: a common                     wound.

 

Cotton On:

  1. My FIRST reading:  12 words  placed on the page leaving a 10×10 cm blank center page.  words describe hands ready for planting and harvesting. The key word is ‘oceans‘ referring to the overseas labor force that is used in this industry. The blank page could indicate a field that is planted with cotton seeds. TitleCotton On is perhaps a reference to seeds…starting.
  2. I then contacted the poet via Twitter:
  3. “I’m just starting to read poetry and I admit I don’t understand it after a first reading…so I re-read alot. Reading: Cotton on (pg 15) in Blakwork. May I ask…why the big open space in the poem? What am I missing! Thank you for your time #justasking”
  4. Reply  from  Alison Whittaker:
  5. “I try to not be too prescriptive with the poetry, but in Cotton on, the spaces denote the physical space across the pacific between communities wounded by cotton, and the act of stretching out to touch. it’s whatever you make of it!”
  6. My SECOND reading: Then I put my thinking cap on.
  7. Who was wounded by cotton?
  8. USA the slaves on the plantations.
  9. AUS the aboriginals who see their sacred rivers drying up.
  10. The aboriginals say:  “If there’s no river, where’s our culture?”
  11. The landholders (cotton farms) are pumping all the water out
  12. for irragation and water management.
  13. Now I see the connection in the poem.
  14. The slaves and aboriginals are stretching their hands
  15. across the Pacific Ocean.
  16. Both wounded by cotton.
  17. “The last line “here: a common wound.
18
May

#AWW2019 Maxine Beneba Clarke

 

Introduction:

  1. I needed to share
  2. Maxine Beneba Clarke’s poem on my blog.
  3. There is something so rewarding in this poem
  4. if you are willing to
  5. let go of what you already know.

 

Ritual

We’ll go cardboard-boothed

  to the primary schools

community centres

  and the churches to boot

 

and friendly neighbours

  ideologically opposed

will avert their eyes

  as they fold up their votes

 

Last thoughts:

You want a poem to unsettle something…

  1. Maxine Beneba Clarke has done it
  2. ..about Australian elections 2019
  3. There’s not a word wasted in these clean, spare lines.
  4. We could use this poem for elections all over Europe!
  5. You can read THE ENTIRE POEM  HERE
  6. Thank you @slamup 

 

 

 

18
May

#AWW2019 Lesley Williams

  • Author:  Lesley and Tammy Williams
  • Title: Not Just Black and White
  • Published: 2015
  • Genre: indigenous issues non-fiction
  • Trivia: 2016 Queensland Premier’s Award work of State Significance
  • Trivia  2014 David Unaipon Award Winner
  • List of Challenges 2019
  • Monthly plan
  • #AWW2019
  • @AusWomenWriters

 

Quickscan:

  1. This is a writing collaboration between
  2. mother (Lesley) and daughter (Tammy).
  3. Lesley Williams was forced to leave the
  4. Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement
  5. …at a young age to work as a domestic servant.
  6. Lesley never saw her wages.
  7. They were kept ‘safe’ by the government.
  8. This book relates her nine-year journey for answers:
  9. where is all that money she earned?
  10. Lesley confronts the government
  11. …in a judicial wrestling match!

 

Conclusion:

  1. Mrs Williams describes her youth
  2. while giving the reader a clear mental image
  3. of the backdrop Cherbourg settlement.
  4. It was difficult to read about her life
  5. under  cruel Protection Act that uprooted
  6. thousands of Aboriginal people.
  7. because of her strong character and vision
  8. she was able overcome many hardships.

 

  1. There were several messages in the book that
  2. resonated to me:
  3. Williams feels a strong sense of Aboriginal community. (safety network)
  4. Williams struggles to fight injustice (racial, financial)
  5. Williams reminds all people who suffer racism…

 

  1. Best quote:
  2. “There are two ways to fight racism:
  3. — fight with your fists
  4. — fight with your talents and achievements”
  5. Nothing hurts a racist more
  6. …when they see you achieving

 

Last thoughts

  1. Good literature unnerves you…..
  2. …or takes you somewhere to consider things
  3. ….things that you might not have considered
  4. thinking about before.
  5. This book took me into the Cherbourg Settlement.
  6. It showed me the strength of family…
  7. that remained unbroken for Lesley Williams.
  8. It has only been in the last generations
  9. …that Aboriginal writers have been published.
  10. They now are  able to tell their stories, their truths.
  11. #ReadDiversity

 

17
May

#NSW Premier’s 2019 Special Award B. Boochani

  • Author: B. Boochani
  • Title: No Friend But The Moutains
  • Published: 2018
  • Genre: non-fiction
  • List of Challenges 2019
  • Monthly plan
  • #NSWPLA
  • @MacmillianAus
  • @Picadorbooks
  • Trivia:
  • A special award of $10,000 was made to
  • Manus Island refugee Behrooz Boochani
  • for his book No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison.
  • Boochani’s book was ineligible for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards
  • which require authors to be Australian citizens.
  • Trivia:
  • The book won the top prize at the
  • Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards in January 2019.
  • This year was an exception made to the eligibility requirements.
  • Trivia: WINNER
  • .Australia National Biography Award 2019

 

Introduction:

  1. Prison literature is always a difficult read.
  2. For instance the Pulitzer Prize Winner History 2017
  3. Blood in the Water  by H. Thompson (worth your reading time!)
  4. But it is necessary to know the disturbing truths
  5. ….that are not always in the news.
  6. Boochani’s book was not a pleasure to read.
  7. I persevered to force myself out of my comfort zone.
  8. My review is in fragments.
  9. I could not add any commentary to this
  10. confrontational book.
  11. According to PEN International
  12. “Manus Island has become notorious for its
  13. …ill-treatment of detainees where violence,
  14. sexual abuse and self-harm are reportedly common.
  15. No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison
  16. is an autobiographical account
  17. …of Boochani’s  perilous journey
  18. from Indonesia to Christmas Island and thence to Manus.
  19. He  tells of what life is like for the detained men.
  20. #LiteratureDoesHavePower

 

Conclusion:

0-25%:
The trip to Manus (ch 1-4)
Boochani enters Manus Prison (ch 5-6)

25% – 60%:

  1. Once a concept is mentioned
  2. it is repeated over and over
  3. …again for several paragraphs:
  4. stench of hairy man’s breath (ch 7)
  5. smell of putrid soil
  6. fans
  7. mosquitos
  8. rooms
  9. pissing
  10. filthy toilets
  11. distress caused by saying ‘hi’
  12. bellowing of profanities
  13. prison becomes hive of killer bees
  14. prisoners become wolves…threat to everyone else
  15. Generator (cuts off water and electricity)
  16. ….manipulates minds

 

Queuing for food (ch 8)

  1. everything is micromanaged and mechanical
  2. meat is like pieces of car tyre
  3. guards like shepherds guiding a herd of sheep
  4. Nicknames: the Cow…first one entering dining area
  5. starvation has a smell…
  6. officers and cooks work 2 week shifts
  7. …then leave the island to be replaced
  8. answer to all the prisoners question:
  9. …”The Boss has given orders.”
  10. queue in the telephone room

 

Father’s Day…men struggle for the telephone (ch 9)

  1. …this leads to bruises and bodily harm.
  2. power of biceps can determine many situations
  3. distributing cakes….devoured right off the cardboard
  4. …mayhem but Boochiani does not move.
  5. …he knows “I am an animal that has already lost the game.”

 

60-100%

  1. I am a child of war. (ch 10)
  2. Boochani describes the guards crushing a unruly prisoner.
  3. This chapter reminds me of a mind becoming unhinged.

 

It’s hard to discern a genuine smile…  (ch 11)

  1. Toothache…terrible pain…worse treatment!
  2. Self-harm in the prison becomes a cultural practice.
  3. When prisonor spills his blood he appears to enter into ecstasy.
  4. It is a moment emitting the scent of death.
  5. According to Boochani every prisoner must
  6. …look out for the prisoner standing next to him.
  7. The most important thing is they must challenge the
  8. Kyriarchal System of the prison.
  9. …Kyriarchy is a system that creates webs of privilege and exclusion.

 

Revolt in Mike Prison…August 2014. (ch 12)

  1. Death of Reza…the gentle giant.

 

Last thoughts:

  1. Despite winning the prestigious
  2. New South Wales Special Literary Award 2019
  3. with a prize worth $10.000 dollars
  4. Boochani may not leave Manus Island
  5. …and his future is unknown.

 

16
May

#AWW2019 Nakkiah Lui (playwright)

  • Author: Nakkiah Lui (1991)  Gamillaroi and Torres Strait Islander woman
  • Title: Black is the New White
  • Published: 2019 (book)
  • Opening night: 10 May 2017 Sydney Theatre Company
  • Genre: play (romantic comedy)
  • Trivia: Indigenous issues
  • Trivia: 2018 winner NSW Lit Award for Playwriting
  • Trivia: 2018 shortlist Victorian Premier’s Award Drama
  • List of Challenges 2019
  • Monthly plan
  • #AWW2019
  • @AusWomenWriters
  • @AllenandUnwin

 

Quickscan:

  1. Young couple Charlotte Gibson and
  2. Francis Smith are newly engaged.
  3. But their fathers are political rivals.
  4. The Gibson and Smith families gather for Christmas lunch.
  5. Unexpected guests, sudden self-realizations
  6. …and family secrets disrupt their meal.
  7. Themes: land rights, politics, relationships, identity, class.
  8. Question: What is it to be Aboriginal and middle class?

 

Structure:

  1. 7 scenes
  2. 8 characters:
  3. Engaged couple (20s)  Charlotte and Francis
  4. Their respective parents (50-60s) Joan, Ray, Maire and Dennison
  5. Daughter (nr 2) and son-in-law (30s) Rose and Sonny

 

Dialogue:

  1. To speed up the pace Nakkiah uses overlapping dialogue.
  2. The idea was to write dialogue
  3. …the way people really speak
  4. …so that characters cut off the
  5. beginnings and ends of each other’s sentences.
  6. Full revelation of emotions is transformed into comedy.
  7. At times it feels like community (scene 3-4-5-6)
  8. ….and at times like chaos! (scene 7)

 

References: 

  1. To give the play a very culturally modern feel we read about a
  2. virtual reality mask, twitter, Michell Obama, Hillary and Bill Clinton,
  3. Kim and Kayne Kardishan, Beyoncé and JayZ, Martin Luther King,
  4. Waleed Aly, Alicia Keyes,
  5. Netflix series House of Cards and the movie Cluesless.

 

Narrator:

  1. Lui uses a technique of the narrator to
  2. give the audience/reader the backstory.
  3. The narrator comments on action, adds insight
  4. …on characters, stage elements
  5. …developing a precise and complete character persona.

 

Conclusion:

  1. I will not reveal any spoilers
  2. …..the play should be read with a clean slate.
  3. You will enjoy the unfinished battles
  4. …in the character’s public and private lives!
  5. We follow the maze from character to character….
  6. …with the climatic scene 7
  7. …which includes 15 ‘bombshells’ of information!
  8. In Black is the New White (title revealed in scene 4)
  9. …you meet 8 characters  who
  10. challenge stereotypes of
  11. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  12. With Nakkiah Lui’s  comic descriptions of
  13. their personal interaction and commentary
  14. …you have an unforgettable romantic comedy
  15. …and many life lessons.
  16. #MustRead   #MustLaugh