As a response to the debate about gender imbalance in literature and in conjunction with the development of the Stella Prize, Overland has ventured into the world of the ebook with Women’s Work, a collection of five excellent stories by new women writers, with a foreword by Margo Lanagan, and front cover illustration by Japan-based artist, Jenny Terasaki.
Overland has a long history of creating opportunity for new writers. Women’s Work is that opportunity for Anne Hotta, Georgina Luck, Helen Addison-Smith, Susie Greenhill and Cheryl Adam. It is a beautiful and diverse collection of stories that explore the politics of the environment, dignity, relationships, gender, privilege and loneliness.
Hotta’s ‘The art of ikebana’ draws on the author’s experience of Japan and with an elegant touch, artfully arranges the elements of one woman’s modest, yet binding, obsession. Luck brings us the mystery that is ‘daughter’ from a skilfully realised father’s point of view in ‘Calving’, its final paragraphs capturing the titanic shifts of the reproductive life that outwardly, can seem nothing more than a whisper. ‘She’, is a stampede of a love story; darkly funny, sexual and angry, Addison-Smith marches fearlessly into the dangerous territory of grief and obligation. The potency of the Tasmanian wilderness and the aching loneliness of the protestor is the essence of Greenhill’s ‘Forest’, where one man will sacrifice everything to unite with nature. In ‘Under the Bridge’, Adam levels the playing field when a natural disaster gives an impoverished Philippine woman control of the fate of an Australian do-gooder.
Each different in style and intention, these five writers have captured the essence of excellence in short story – the quartet of form, beauty, ease and a sense of the whole.
Women’s Work is being launched as part of the Stella Prize panel at Readings Carlton on Thursday 8 March (aka International Women’s Day). Women’s Work will be available from Overland and Readings from Friday 9 March.
When: 6.30pm, Thursday 8 March
Where: Readings Carlton (309 Lygon Street, Carlton)
Launch by: Sophie Cunningham
Cost: free, but please rsvp
Includes: panel with Monica Dux, Sophie Cunningham, Chris Flynn and Rebecca Starford: ‘Is Women’s Writing Different to Men’s?’