We’re halfway through the year…

This time last year, I was feeling really worn out as a result of Melbourne’s COVID situation (little did I know how much more was ahead). I certainly wasn’t doing much reading, despite having oodles of time on my hands.

This year, I was supposed to be at Ningaloo Reef, diving, and snorkeling with the whale sharks, before heading to Perth tomorrow. We cancelled the trip a few weeks ago because Melbourne was in another lockdown, and Western Australia have been firm on keeping their borders closed until states have weeks of zero cases. I appreciate the irony that right now, Melbourne is the place to be, given that the bulk of Australia is in lockdown – had we been in Western Australia, we’d be stuck in a hotel room. Continue reading

Stella Prize 2021 Longlist Predictions

The Stella Prize 2021 longlist will be announced tomorrow night (tune in here).

Unlike the judges, I’ve only read a dozen or so eligible books but I’m aware of a bunch that keep crossing my radar. On that rather flimsy basis, I’m predicting the longlist*. Continue reading

Loner by Georgina Young

I was only halfway through Loner by Georgina Young when I sent a text message to one of my oldest friends telling her that she had to read it because it was like someone had stolen our uni years and put them in a book. Every word of this delightful novel felt real.

The story is about Lona – she has dropped out of her art course at uni, and while her best friend, Tab, immerses herself in university life, Lona works at Planet Skate on Friday nights and at a supermarket during the week. She has lost her creative direction (and questions whether it ever existed). There’s lots of angst.

It’s not enough to respond to a prompt. It’s not enough to subvert or to push back on the assessment criteria. Not when she relied on the rubric in the first place, to know what she should be pushing back on, to define the trajectory of her small artistic and conceptual rebellions.
Continue reading