Meet Me at the Intersection ed. Rebecca Lim and Ambelin Kwaymullina

Published: 3rd September 2018Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Fremantle Press
Pages: 296
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult
★   ★   ★   ★ – 4 Stars

Meet Me at the Intersection is an anthology of short fiction, memoir and poetry by authors who are First Nations, People of Colour, LGBTIQA+ or living with disability. The focus of the anthology is on Australian life as seen through each author’s unique, and seldom heard, perspective.

With works by Ellen van Neerven, Graham Akhurst, Kyle Lynch, Ezekiel Kwaymullina, Olivia Muscat, Mimi Lee, Jessica Walton, Kelly Gardiner, Rafeif Ismail, Yvette Walker, Amra Pajalic, Melanie Rodriga, Omar Sakr, Wendy Chen, Jordi Kerr, Rebecca Lim, Michelle Aung Thin and Alice Pung, this anthology is designed to challenge the dominant, homogenous story of privilege and power that rarely admits ‘outsider’ voices. 

Meet Me at the Intersection is filled with some brilliant stories and pieces of work by authors who are showing that those marginalised and seldom heard voices can be just as powerful and have just as important stories to tell. It is filled with the voices of Young Adult authors and stories but is an anthology that can and should be read by everyone.

The collection is filled with a range of forms and styles from poetry, memoirs and short stories. Each author brings their own style of writing and it was a nice to see so many different voices through the book. There are little explanations of each author and their background before each piece and it is clear there is diversity across all kinds.

In terms of content, each piece takes place in a different time period and it was refreshing to see not every story was contemporary; and while this makes sense for memoir, some of the other stories were from other time periods as well. I also loved the way these stories have been ordered in the collection. In the introduction it mentions that the oldest culture of storytellers deserves to go first and I loved that that was acknowledged.

What made this anthology stand out to me was it never felt like there was a single message being highlighted, instead it was about representation. The blurb mentions that the focus of the work is to represent the everyday lives of Australians and it has succeeded brilliantly. In doing so you gain an understanding by reading about these fictional, semi fictional, and real lives about the ordinariness and extraordinariness of a diverse group of writers. it is wonderfully eye opening and showcases that these lesser heard and unique voices have some amazing stories to tell. It is an anthology filled with own voices and is beautifully, distinctly Australian. What more could you ask for?

You can purchase Meet Me at the Intersection via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

DymocksAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

AWW 2021 Challenge

The Australian Women Writers Challenge has been going for ten years this year which is absolutely incredible and it has been an amazing challenge to participate in as it has allowed me a chance to read and discover some wonderful authors.

Not only have I read some great adult fiction, it’s allowed me to read some great YA authors, discover many great picture book authors, and being able to pick up books on a whim because they meet the criteria that I’ve ended up falling in love with.

I am sticking with my goal from last year to read 40 and review 35. I read enough last time but my reviewing failed so I’m aiming to meet that goal this year before upping my limit if I can. This also includes uploading them to the AWW website because I don’t know if I uploaded any of my reviews that I did do on there.

There’s never a better time to jump in on this challenge than right at the start but you can sign up at any time through the year all the way until the end of November. There are a lot smaller goals for those wanting a less daunting number than I have chosen or you can set your own depending what you’re after. The Australian Women Writers website has a host of resources and ideas if you’re looking for titles to get you started and there are a range of groups you can join to become part of the community.

AWW 2020 Wrap Up

This has been a strange year for my AWW Challenge – I read a lot of books but haven’t gotten around to reviewing that many yet. And I started strong but then had a small slump and then somehow have come back strong at the end. And while my number looks huge compared to what I usually achieve, I have come in big with picture books with them taking up almost half of my total. I don’t have any guilt about this however which is a surprise to no one more than myself because I know what kind of year I have had and know it is a pure miracle I have read anything at all so to be able to have such a phenomenal number is amazing. Plus I read a lot of CBCA and Christmas picture books which bumped up my numbers.

My final total for the year is 58 read and 20 reviewed which is an almost win from my 40 read, 30 reviewed goal from the start of the year. I read over 200 books this year and the AWW made up 30% of those. This is a 5% increase from last year so maybe in 2021 I can make it 35% or higher. I don’t need to worry that I haven’t got reviews for them all yet, I have all next year to get some reviews included but to have read this many, mainly accidentally, is astounding. I am curious about what next year will bring. The 2021 AWW Challenge sign up is already up but I don’t think I’m ready to set a number yet. I need to get through this year first, see it to the end and then I can focus on 2021.

Did you participate in the AWW this year? If so how did you go? Or if not, with a new year nearly upon us it’s a great chance to jump on board for the 2021 challenge and discover the wonderful women writers Australia has to offer.

 

AWW 2020 Books Read and Reviewed

Fairytales for Feisty Girls by Susannah McFarlane

Growing Up Queer in Australia ed Benjamin Lee – Review

Summer Time by Hilary Bell

Goodwood by Holly Throsby – Review

A Day at the Show by Gwyn Perkins – Review

Just the Way We Are by Jessica Shirvington – Review

Shout out to the Girls Review

Meerkat Choir by Nicki Greenberg – Review

Celeste the Giraffe Loved to Laugh by Celeste Barber – Review

Charlotte Pass by Lee Christine

Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend

The Mistake by Wendy James

Meet Me at the Intersection ed Rebecca Lim

Welcome to Orphancorp by Marlee Jane Ward

Clancy the Quokka by Lilli Wilkinson – Review

Star Crossed by Minnie Darke – Review

A Trip to the Beach by Gwyn Perkins

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

Faking It (#2) by Gabrielle Tozer – Review

The Ex by Nicola Moriarty

Those Other Women Nicola Moriarty – Review

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil

What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume – Review

The Anzac Bilby by Claire Saxby

The Easter Bunnyroo by Susannah Chambers

Archibald the Naughtiest Elf in the World Causes Trouble for the Easter Bunny by Skye Davidson

Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah – Review

Before You Forget by Julia Lawrinson – Review

Queer Stories ed. Maeve Marsden

Ella and the Ocean by Lian Tanner

My Friend Fred by Frances Watts

Blinky Bill: The Quaint Little Australian by Dorothy Wall – Review

Blinky Bill Grows Up by Dorothy Wall – Review

Blinky Bill and Nutsy by Dorothy Wall – Review

All I Want for Christmas is Rain by Cori Brooke

Please Don’t Hug Me by Kay Kerr

This Is a Ball by Beck Stanton

Who’s Your Real Mum? by Bernadette Green

My Folks Grew Up in the ’80s by Beck Feiner

The Red Book by Beck Stanton

There’s no such thing! By Heidi McKinnon

All Through The Year by Jane Godwin

Reindeer’s Christmas Surprise by Ursula Dubosarsky

Little Dog and the Christmas Wish by Corinne Fenton

A Very Quacky Christmas by Frances Watts – Review

What Do You Wish For? by Jane Godwin

Tea and Sugar Christmas by Jane Jolly

An Aussie Day Before Christmas by Kilmeny Niland – Review

Santa and the Sugar Glider by Alexa Moses

Cleo and Rob by Helen Brown

Dear Grandpa by Kate Simpson

Theodore the Unsure by Pip Smith

Ask Hercules Quick by Ursula Dubosarky

The Cute Penguin by Gabriel Evans

When Billy Was a Dog by Kirsty Murray

Baz & Benz by Heidi McKinnon

Ivanhoe Swift Left Home at Six by Jane Godwin

Are These Hen’s Eggs by Christina Booth

Miss Kraken by Nicki Greenberg

Pennies for Hitler by Jackie French

The Naked Penguin by Kym Larder

Whitney and Britney, Chicken Divas by Lucinda Gifford – Review

 

AWW Update Oct-Dec

Curiously I read nothing by Aussie women in October or November so from my update in Oct I am jumping into December. A lot of these are picture books because aside from trying to find some cute Chrissy picture books I sussed out the CBCA list and read a few of those as well. I found a few missing from the previous update so I’ve added them in where they belong but even without those I’ve added another 15 books in December. It brings my total to 58 which is pretty awesome. I haven’t reviewed all of these yet but I will be so I’ll have to count that towards next year’s reviews. There’s some pretty fun books on this list though so I’m looking forward to reviewing them soon.

AWW20 BOOKS Oct – Dec

All I Want for Christmas is Rain by Cori Brooke

Please Don’t Hug Me by Kay Kerr

This Is a Ball by Beck Stanton

Who’s Your Real Mum? by Bernadette Green

My Folks Grew Up in the ’80s by Beck Feiner

The Red Book by Beck Stanton

There’s no such thing! By Heidi McKinnon

All Through The Year by Jane Godwin

Reindeer’s Christmas Surprise by Ursula Dubosarsky

Little Dog and the Christmas Wish by Corinne Fenton

A Very Quacky Christmas by Frances Watts – Review

What Do You Wish For? by Jane Godwin

Tea and Sugar Christmas by Jane Jolly

An Aussie Day Before Christmas by Kilmeny Niland – Review

Santa and the Sugar Glider by Alexa Moses

AWW20 TOTAL

Read: 58/40

Reviewed: 20/30

An Aussie Day Before Christmas by Kilmeny Niland

Published: 1st October 2010Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Scholastic
Illustrator: Kilmeny Niland
Pages: 32
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

It’s the day before Christmas in Australia and Santa is in a tizz! So much to do — prezzies to wrap, the ute to check and eight ‘roos to choose. But not everything is going to plan. The helpers have gone and the ‘roos can’t be found! What will Santa do now?

I was sceptical when I picked up this book but I was pleasantly surprised and found I really enjoyed it. The narrative is written with the same poetic style as the original Night Before Christmas, but Niland brings an Aussie feeling to the story which worked surprisingly well. This is a sequel of sorts to Yvonne Morrison’s An Aussie Night Before Christmas which Niland illustrated.

One of the things I enjoyed was that the story is Australian without being over the top Australian. Niland uses Aussie language and Aussie slang without the full on cringe that some books cause when the use over the top words and phrases that don’t even sound natural to Australians. Classics like brekkie, dunny and other Aussie slang make an appearance but Niland’s illustrations add an explanation element without distracting from the story for those unaware of the meanings or intentions.

With roos instead of reindeer more Aussie nicknames come forward, and even by now I hadn’t grown tired of the Australianness of the story. You can always tell when an author tries too hard but Niland balances it well between a fun Christmas story while also having it tolerable to read aloud and not be so filled with slang that it becomes incomprehensible.

The illustrations are cute and I loved the design style used for not only Santa and his misses but also the native animals and the Australian environment. Through the rhyme Niland captures other elements of an Australian summer Christmas with the mention of blow flies, cicadas and the Aussie salute. A few Australian places are mentioned which adds some local identifiers and it was great to see Santa get ready for the big night with his summer gear on.

This is a fun and uniquely Aussie story that is also familiar as it lines up with the well-known classic. It’s fun to read aloud as you get caught up in the rhythm and with the use of the Aussie language you get to have a bit of fun with it as well. It’s also a great way to show off how Santa gets ready for his big night.

You can purchase An Aussie Day Before Christmas via the following

Amazon

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