Introducing Overland 237

Type
Editorial

Last night I attended a talk by former editor Jeff Sparrow, about his new book on fascism and the Christchurch massacre. ‘What can we do about the intense alienation and isolation that many people seem to feel today?’ someone in the audience asked.

Type
Column
Category
Writing

On failure

Back in 2013, I began an epic novel. For the next three and a half years, I consistently worked on this project. Its working title changed at least three times, before I finally settled on Dreamers.
 
 

Type
Column
Category
Education
Parenting

On the school as utopia

A few weeks ago, I attended a presentation about the first attempts at universities in Australia to support the inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities. Laudably, these programs aren’t limited to vocational paths but allow participants to study the subjects they are most interested in.

Type
Essay
Category
Poetry
translation

Inspired and multiple

Since we met in Isfahan in 2016 and discovered our shared interest in poetry and literary translation, we have co-translated many Persian works, both classical and modern. Most of our translations have been carried out across continents, through email exchanges and text messages, but we have also had the chance to refine our method in person, in Yerevan, Beirut and Birmingham.

Type
Essay
Category
Labour
Publishing

Retail therapist

Sayaka Murata’s recently translated novel Convenience Store Woman opens with a soundscape. The protagonist, Keiko, is alert to the subtle sounds of the shop in which she works, recognising a fridge door opening and a cold drink being removed as indicators that the customer is about to make their purchase.

Type
Essay
Category
Criticism
Racism

Crocodile tears

Written by Queensland barrister Cathy McLennan, Saltwater has received almost universal acclaim among readers, reviewers and indeed the Queensland Literary Awards (QLAs), which declared it ‘Best Non-Fiction Book’ in 2017. Its author, appointed a magistrate shortly before the book’s publication, has since accepted invitations to speak on matters of law and policy affecting Aboriginal people and communities.

Type
Essay
Category
radical history

At the crossroads

As 2019 comes to an end, it would be wrong not to mark the centenary of one of the most momentous and least remembered events of the twentieth century: the German Revolution. The revolution doesn’t have one sole year as its anniversary. It raged from 1918 to 1923, spreading from the mutinous naval yards of Kiel to the pits and steelworks of the Ruhr.

Type
Essay
Category
Film
Politics

I would rather be a cyborg

It is now twenty years since the first Matrix film was released. Written and directed by the Wachowski sisters, Lilly and Lana, the film became a social phenomenon, transforming science fiction in the process. Inspired by everything from cyberpunk literature to the philosophies of Jean Baudrillard and René Descartes to the Gnostic gospels, the film was a melange of images and ideas that nevertheless found a mass audience.
 

Type
Essay
Category
The Body
Work

Look good, feel good

Salons advertise all kinds of treatments, from the mundane – Feeling sad? Get a mood-lifting manicure! – to the outlandish – Dull skin? Try our revitalising facial made from nightingale poo! These treatments are sold as the latest scientific miracles guaranteed to make you feel younger, sexier and more confident. But there is much more to salons than the newest age-defying goo or the freshest hairstyles: these are intensely intimate spaces.

Type
Fiction

Lake Mindi

The sun burnt us beneath the eucalypt canopy. It was a familiar, humid day. I remember the millions of grains shifting under my feet as we make our way across the sand dunes.

Type
Fiction

Womanhood

Ever since Grandpa died, Ambuya – Grandma – rations her affection in morsels, like the last pieces of beef in a stew. Some to Daddy, her first son, less to Mummy, the one who stole him from her bosom.

Type
Poetry
Category
Poetry

Water On Mars

The highway that connects the Hudson River with your home planet is honest as a knife. Just over halfway I pull off and park in the shadow of a derelict warehouse. Meteorites glint at me as they cruise by in tight

Type
Editorial
Category
Fair Australia Prize

The 2019 Fair Australia Prize (FAP)

We are once again pleased to support the Fair Australia Prize, this year co-sponsored by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, and the newly formed United Workers Union. Members of both the National Union of Workers and United Voice came together to vote for the bigger and stronger union which officially came into being in November this year. Already we have taken action which speaks to the heart of this year’s theme: STRIKE!

Type
Essay
Category
Fair Australia Prize

FAP winner – Essay: Reasonable adjustments

‘When you’re speaking to a patient who is deaf or hard-of-hearing, make sure you’re facing them,’ the educator explains before clicking to the next slide.

The hospital’s disability awareness training is optional and just a handful of people have shown up. I’m sitting next to another physiotherapist from the 2010 new-graduate program. I pretend not to notice that he is starting to nod off. Apart from when we scoff down lunch, this is the only chance we’ll have to sit down and rest our feet.

Type
Essay
Category
Fair Australia Prize

FAP winner – Best Youth Entry, 18 and under: The high road

Walking towards the meeting place, I make sure the coal-black sweatshirt covering my uniform is firmly sealed, or as much as it can be. It really is chilly. The sun is setting behind the cluster of buildings that form Courtney Place, and the city is making its slow and steady transition into the night, neon lights blinking into life and the volumes of several speakers increasing.

Type
Fiction
Category
Fair Australia Prize

FAP winner – Migrant Worker: While the iron is hot

Shahinaz felt tired. She always felt tired. She’d toiled all day every day for weeks, months. Today, the manager had told her there were deductions to be taken out of her pay, so she wouldn’t get all the money she had counted on to help her family. Her father was sick and needed medicine. Her mother needed to buy school uniforms for Shahinaz’s sisters and brothers, so they could go to school. And now she wouldn’t have enough.

Type
Fiction
Category
Fair Australia Prize

FAP winner – Fiction: Verdict on a winter afternoon

Binayak had spent two years in prison in Chhattisgarh already, and, now, he was going to go back behind bars.

As Ilina accompanied Himanshu and Raj to the door, a deafening silence filled her house. Her daughters were in their rooms, fatigued and battered, their nerves frayed by the seeming chimera and now dismal reality of their father’s conviction in the Raipur Sessions Court.