Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo has been billed as a book about desire, which might suggest something positive or empowering – “I desire x and therefore I shall have it.” It is in fact, quite the opposite.

Taddeo delves into the far-reaching reverberations of particular events in the lives of three women. It is overly simplistic and in fact false, to say that the women’s stories begin with desire of a sexual nature. More accurately, each of the women have complex emotional needs (as a result of rape, sexual assault, a history of self-harming behaviour, cultural expectations, and challenging family circumstances) that are, to a certain extent, expressed in their sexual relationships. I emphasise their emotional needs because as their stories unfold it is painfully clear that what they are seeking (what they ‘desire’) will never be found in the relationships with the (abusive) men they are drawn to.

We pretend to want things we don’t want so nobody can see us not getting what we need. Continue reading

Broadside 2019 – Helen Garner

What a day! The inaugural Broadside Festival opened with Helen Garner in conversation with Sarah Krasnostein.

It was the first time I’d heard Helen speak (despite trying to get to her rare speaking engagements in the past). My immediate impression was that she was much warmer and funnier than I had expected (I guess my expectations were unthinkingly based on her subject matter and her spare, pared-back prose).

The conversation began with talking about publishing a diary, something that by nature is intended to be private. On rereading her diaries, Helen said, “There was a lot of boring stuff in there, which naturally I found fascinating. To sort out what others would find interesting about you is actually quite a challenging process.” Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. It’s school holidays in Australia. We spent a few days with family in Kyneton (with some mountain-biking in Harcourt and a hike to the summit of Hanging Rock). Continue reading

Melbourne Writers Festival 2019 – the last bit

I’m hopelessly late reporting on my last two 2019 Melbourne Writers Festival events, but both were fantastic and worth a mention.

Corey White – The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory

I think my favourite session this Festival was comedian Corey White talking with Sarah Krasnostein about his memoir, The Prettiest Horse in the Glue Factory. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. We had our annual international night with friends last week. This year’s country was Argentina – empanadas, Quilmes, Provoleta, Malbec, big steaks, chimichurri, sweet potato jelly (!) and Argentina’s answer to chocolate ripple cake (before you go rushing to make this cake, know that is was almost unbearably sweet – I’ll stick with the empanadas and grilled cheese). Continue reading

Melbourne Writers Festival 2018

It’s Melbourne Writers Festival program launch day!

Having had to keep #ALLTHESECRETS for the last few months (I have had the privilege of being on the Audience Advocate committee this year), I was busting for tonight’s launch so that I could start talking events. The program is a ripper and I can’t tell you how much I love this year’s theme – ‘A matter of life and death’ (that’s Virginia Gay in the pic, launching the Festival).

Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. Hello Europe (and Australia)! It’s Eurovision time. I was up at the crack-of for the first semi this morning. Lots of thoughts but my picks from round one (in order) –

  • Albania – for it’s 90s vibe
  • Ireland – hear the crowd roar at a certain bit
  • Finland – a good song and a lucky-ticket wheel!
  • Czech Republic – Fresh Prince meets 80s-Sportsgirl-prep
  • Bulgaria – can’t argue with the lyrics… Also, doesn’t this have a pleasing Goldfrapp feel?

Thought Switzerland would have made it through for their stand-up/ stand-on drumming work alone. I know everyone is loving Cyprus but really, Eurovision is not for Beyoncé-wannabees. And if we are voting on pure Eurovision-ness alone, Israel is the winner. Continue reading