Archive for the ‘books’ Category
Things happened. Things changed. A girl full of light could get that light snuffed out, and when everything around her was dark, she could roll up in a ball and ignore the whole world, starting with her best friend.
I decided to read Shine by Lauren Myracle (Amulet Books, May 2011) because a few years ago I read ttyl and liked it. I hadn’t even read the blurb of Shine and expected something light and fun, um no. Since I’d only read one of LM’s books I wondered if her books were diverse, but someone on twitter said Shine was very different from LM’s other books. And I agree, Shine is amazing. It’s more like the books I usually read, full of angst and heartache, so I was quite at home, despite initially expecting something different. And Lauren Myracle has quite a way with her words, my favourite kind of author.
It was delicious telling secrets in the hushed privacy of the forest, where not even the sunlight could cut a path to the leaf-covered ground.
Shine is the harrowing tale of the brutal beating of Patrick because he’s gay. He’s left for dead at the Come ‘n’ Go gas station where he works, with a gasoline nozzle shoved in his throat and the words “Suck this, faggot” written on his chest in blood. Patrick’s friend Cat narrates the story of her search for who did this horrific crime. During her search for the truth she has to face the demons which have plagued her for the last three years. The story encompasses a myriad of issues: growing up gay in a small town with its ingrained homophobia; poverty; domestic violence; rape; drug abuse; as well as the mystery of who attacked Patrick. There’s even a slice of romance on the side.
Lili Wilkinson has had quite a year so far, winning three tributes for her work. And this is for three different books, not just three accolades for the one book. The three books are very different beings. LW is a busy, busy writer.
I may have blogged somewhere about Pink (Allen & Unwin, 2009) being highly commended in the 2010 Barbara Jefferis Award. I don’t often read books more than once, but Pink was so wickedly luscious I had to. I think the Barbara Jefferis Award is the most important offered in Australia because it’s for
the best novel written by an Australian author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society.
Why can’t every book do this!? The judges said of Pink,
As a novel written for young adults, Pink deals in some refreshing and witty ways with the stock themes of confusion over sexuality, peer group pressure, and what not to wear. While Ava’s parents have no problems with her lesbianism or goth attire, she is not so sure. She dons a pink cashmere jumper and switches schools. But rather than just inverting a conventional coming-out plot to produce something more conservative, Pink complicates the simple trajectory of this kind of narrative. It depicts young women, gay and/or straight, positively, and offers a far from neat conclusion. Ava, having learnt several Emma-esque lessons about tolerance and judgment, still remains undecided.
‘He’s a dickhead, that’s what he is.’
‘What sort? There are many different varieties.’
I would have blogged about Shyness in time for its release on 2 August, many weeks ago, but some very malevolent monsters got in the way, and they were in no way pretty, whatsoever. These words could still be sitting somewhere in the nether regions of the network if not for one angry mother and a grasshopper. It’s good to get your emotions out, but I really don’t think the grasshopper had any business handing out advice after the txts he sent me a week ago (altho I’ve since got him back). As much as I’d like to I can’t repeat those txts here because I’ve never encountered an angry grasshopper and now’s not the time to start. While receiving the grasshopper’s wisdom I even got some healthy eating tips which may have been caused by him watching me devour a whole pizza. That night was an interesting occurrence as the grasshopper lives in the vicinity of Shyness and I live on the other side of the
universe continent. The pizza banquet may have been due to a glitch in the space time continuum or perhaps modern air travel. As well as pizza there were many skulls at the banquet, but I’m kind of going off topic.
Back to This is Shyness. I’m in LOVE ie. capital letter love :P I have to go to Shyness. I meticulously took note of all the landmarks so I could work out the exact location and feel the “thin layer of static over everything” that makes it hard to “see what’s really going on.” I haven’t quite pinned it down yet. In texting some of the landmarks to my guardian angel (who lived longer in the vicinity of Shyness than the grasshopper) he replied,
u sound lost
That’s why I’m asking, you d#@*!
And what is it doing here!? I think it might be wax that drips from the ceiling. I’ve never actually seen any, but I heard a lot about it as a 12 year old listening over and over to a recording of Alice through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. More to the point, why has this blog suddenly become about such a strange substance? And cabbages, where did they come from? The same place as the ceiling wax.
’I weep for you,’ the Walrus said:
‘I deeply sympathize.’
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size.
As that 12 year old I could reel off “The Walrus and the Carpenter” (sad, I know) and parts of it are still stuck somewhere in the dark recesses of my brain (those seven maids with mops), as is the first stanza of “The Jabberwocky“. I did think ceiling wax sounded odd, but the world was full of strange things back then, especially when you went through a looking-glass.
Back to why is this tangent even here? Once you pass your thesis, many changes come about. Excuse me!? Have we stepped into a parallel universe? Don’t get too excited, I have some slight revisions and then it’ll be googleable for all the world to be bored by. I really don’t recommend you sit down (or even stand up) and read a thesis. Parts of my thesis are in the publishing machinations of various journals and I’ll blog about some tasty thesis morsels, from which you can then go to the original if you really want the torture, or unending references.