Admin, Life Writing

A Special Edition of Wayward Kin Read Deborah Levy’s Living Memoir

It’s been a hot while my loves, and I know we are all zoomed out, but I also know that some of us are craving a little of that human connection outside of the humans/fur humans with whom we are locked down. Therefore, on Wednesday 1 September, 8, September and 15 September I will open the Zoom room for a 2 hour long love-fest on Deborah Levy’s living memoir series. Bring wine, bring tea, bring your adoration for those books you get something new from every time you read it. Bring your evangelical enthusiasm (“No, babes, you don’t understand. YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK.” – no judgement, we’ve all said some iteration of this sentence). This isn’t a “lit class” discussion, it’s wine, reflection, musing, philosophy, therapy, sharing. It’s vulnerability and respect. It’s real estate.

15 September 20:00 AEST: Real Estate

Available at Neighbourhood Books, Brunswick Books, Paperback Bookshop, Hill of Content

Enter the Zoom here from 8pm on 8 September.

Uncategorized

Law and Literature Book Club

So this one is for my law and law-adjacent peoples. I’m just going to throw it out there: Bookclub, but with a legal focus.

Hear me out. I know y’all practitioners already do A LOT of reading, but most of y’all, in my experience, are giant fucking nerdburgers who miss having the time to read fantasy and sci fi (I see you, boo). This is where I step in. CV time: I have a PhD in literature and have taught literature at Victorian unis since 2012, I have a law degree, worked as a researcher and paralegal at a firm for seven years (decided not to practice because I saw how the sausage was made), and I’ve taught law to creative industry professionals since 2018. I’ve been running a relatively successful book club for about three years. I am also a firm believer (my students might call me evangelical) in the power of stories to help us understand the world and ourselves better.

Y’all are also professional readers and storytellers. You are also working in an industry that can suck the joy out of everything it touches. Let’s bring some joy back to reading the law.

Enter Lady Chatterley’s Book Club (one of my fave censorship trials, buy I’m open to changing the name). This is a pilot program for the first five months of 2020. Ideally, it would be based in the Melbourne CBD, and would run once a month. We would read a novel and a case (I’ll create a reading list based on responses) and use the literature to frame our understanding of both the set case and of legal practice/the world more generally. I’m limiting the pilot program to 10 seats, so if you are keen let me know asap. Feel free to retweet/share with friends/frenemies/colleagues/ who you think might be interested.

I’m proposing the following genres of literary texts:

Memoir and Life-Writing

SF, Fantasy and Spec Lit

Trashy crime and Thrillers

Queer Literature

YA and Bildungsroman

Classical lit and adaptations

Shakespeare and adaptations

If you are keen, shoot me a response/email/DM and let me know your preferred reading list.

Fiction

Reflection: The Invasion (The Grey Land Book 2) by Peadar O’Guilin

Irish mythology has fascinated me since I was a little girl. The stories of sliding between parallel worlds, of the human and the Sidhe, of Tir Na n’Og, seemed both familiar and strange. I felt like I missed something by not being able to speak Gaeilge (or Cymric for that matter). My family name is Irish, but my family moved to Australia five or six generations ago, I think we traced it to about the time of the famine. I am one of the invaders.

Continue reading “Reflection: The Invasion (The Grey Land Book 2) by Peadar O’Guilin”
Fiction

Reflection: Great Expectations by Kathy Acker

I feel like I come across authors at just the right time in my life. In my early 20s, as a young and terrified queer woman, it was Jeanette Winterson. She was gifted to me on my twenty first birthday by a schoolfriend. Ten years later (and late to the party), it was Angela Carter. She was a writer whose urgency leaked through the page and into me. Most recently, it has been Kathy Acker. Her rage, her despair, her passion, resonates with me right now. I don’t know if it’s because she seems a long past oracle of the current zeitgeist; her depictions of toxic masculinity, written during the early 80s could have been written last week. She is a Casssandra. Her Great Expectations, made me work as much as Dickens’ rambling tome did. But where Dickens’ skill is in setting scene, hers in in unpacking a character.

Continue reading “Reflection: Great Expectations by Kathy Acker”
Fiction, Uncategorized

Reflection: Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

I admit straight up that I have an obsession with water. My mother always called me her waterbaby, and I am never happier than when I am immersed in cool clear waves. There is a caveat: the water must be clear, I like to see exactly what I’m swimming with. It was in just such circumstances that I started reading Invisible Cities.  I had water up to my chest, and it was crystal clear. I stood in the bay, my legs dancing with the pull of the current while I read this book in the pink evening sun. It was the most perfect way to begin this book about journeys.

Continue reading “Reflection: Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino”