Despite writers week and International Women’s day both being a distant memory, I feel compelled to write a post about my amazing experience of listening to so many amazing and inspiring women tackling relevant cultural issues in their fiction. Melina Marchetta, an old favourite author of mine tackles the very relevant issue of Islamophobia in her novel Tell The Truth, Shame The Devil. Maxine Beneba Clarke discusses the heart-breaking institutionalised and casual racism that she experienced growing up and how it shaped her as a person in her captivating memoir The Hate Race. Inga Simpson captivated me with her beautiful novel Where The Trees Were which revolves around the destruction of aboriginal heritage, particularly in the time leading up to the landmark “Mabo” ruling. This loss of heritage and identity is still felt today and is still relevant as we continue to not recognise our countries original landowners in our Constitution. Emily Maguire investigates violence against women, victims blaming and the stereotyping that plays a role in how the media reports these stories in her novel An Isolated Incident. Sara Taylor takes on gender and the voice of the minority that encompasses the LGBT community in The Lauras. Jessie Burton explores the idea of (shock, horror) a male muse/female artist relationship in The Muse.
John Marsden told an anecdote during his session that, long story short, explained how adults feel the need to put a moral lesson within their stories. While this may not alway be required for children, or even adults, I still find it amazing that these women are writing gripping, relatable, funny stories on a superficial level. While still leaving the reader to ponder the deeper ideas and meaning behind their words. We can all use a little perspective and understanding of the lives and issues of those around us and I feel these novels help do that in a non-intimidating way that conversations sometimes cannot.
So lets hear it for these amazing female writers who give voice to the minorities and important issues in such an eloquent and entertaining way. I appreciate you all.