For me, marriage equality has always been more of a political than personal issue. This, despite the fact I have several close friends in non-heterosexual relationships. But perhaps this was the root of the problem: I’d approached the inequality intellectually and whenever I needed to personalise it, I always did so by way of my discriminated-against friends. I was that self-righteous heterosexual: I care because I have gay friends.
The City Plaza Hotel stands a half hour walk away from the Acropolis in central Athens, nestled in an inner-city alley amongst ageing apartment blocks. Few abnormalities can be registered from outside: the building’s windows emit dim light in the grey morning and clothes are strung along half the balconies on its seven floors. The one outlier is a banner that stretches across three balusters: ‘People are dying in the camps’, it reads, ‘Open Borders. Open Buildings.’
Cashmere subverts the ‘single story’ of South Asia by presenting the migrant experience in all its multiplicity. Riz code switches between ‘observant Muslim’ and ‘Brit-rudeboy’ and Heems is a ‘sexy mother-fakir’.
Testimonials adorn the walls of an otherwise ordinary suburban joint, giving praise to the delicious food and fabulous service. For years it has been a cheeky past time of Members’ of Parliament to leave a note. There’s a joke that if you’re not on the wall, you’re not legit. After requesting a table for two, we were seated next to the restaurant’s latest acquisition: a note by Pauline Hanson. ‘I don’t like it! I love it! Please explain’, it said, signing off with, ‘Pauline Hanson, Now Senator’.
Overland and judges Stephanie Bishop, Aviva Tuffield and Tony Wheeler are pleased to announce the winning entries in this year’s Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize.