December niece news

Since I seem to be posting regular notes about nieces, perhaps I should explain: I’ve got eight of them, and five of the eight have lived, or at least stayed for a while, with us over the years. Every one of them is a source of great joy. A number of them are meeting with a degree of success as writers and artists, and I’m shamelessly putting my blog to work as part of their publicity machines. (We have seven nephews, sources of no less joy, who have so far been more or less avoiding the need for publicity.)

Paula Shaw, whose memoir Seven Seasons at Aurukun received quite a bit of attention earlier in the year, and not just from me, popped up again in Inga Clendinnen’s article in the December Australian Literary Review. Although the article itself has attracted aspersions from Guy Rundle in Crikey, the reference to Seven Seasons as ‘a brave and honest book’ stands uncontested. Thanks to my avuncular Google Alert, I also came across a number of reviews by teachers – on the publisher’s web site, and a review by an Aboriginal reader who has the most negative response I’ve seen so far, identifying a ‘heart of darkness vibe’, but says all the same that it would be a ‘good read for anybody interested in contemporary life in an Aboriginal community in Australia’.

Meanwhile, Paula’s sister Edwina Shaw has been gracing the pages of the Griffith Review for a couple of years now – and grace is the right word for it, even though her stories deal with dark themes set in Joh-era Brisbane. She has a story in the current issue, along with Frank Moorhouse, Louis Nowra and other luminaries. She also has a story, about different youth altogether, in the current (Winter) edition of the Asia Literary Review, sharing the contents list with among others Henning Mankell. (I was putting off posting this until the Asia Literary Review web site included details on the Winter issue, but as it’s now 5 January my title will be appallingly out of date if I postpone any longer, so here it is with what may be the right cover.)

Update: Chris Wood, the editor, has told us in a comment that it is the right cover.

Another update: The Winter issue is now up on the Asia Literary Review web site. I’ve fixed the link, and added one to Edwina’s story, ‘Broken’.

4 responses to “December niece news

  1. Yes, you have the right cover for Asia Literary Review. We don’t post the updated website till copies are on shelves around the world, and since that includes North America, UK, India, Japan etc, it can take a while. We will be updated in the next day or so. Edwina’s is a lovely piece.


  2. Hi Chris: Thanks for commenting. I’ve recently subscribed and will now wait eagerly by my letterbox as well as online. I’ll amend the post and fix the link when it’s live.


  3. Goodness, you have two talented nieces! I read “Seven Seasons In Aurukun” a few months ago, and was absolutely blown away, not only by her vivid recollections of a truly damaged community, but by her courage and humanity… I am a student nurse hoping to work in an indigenous community, so this book was a source of inspiration!
    And I ADORED The Raft in the Griffith Review too…
    You must be so proud!


  4. Thanks Jonathan. How lucky we are to have such a proud uncle. We’re proud of you too. Fantastic poems in Going Down Swinging.


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