I recently got word from my literary agent that my young adult novel, As Stars Fall, will not be next year’s UK or US smash hit. It’s true. I won’t be an international YA superstar by next Christmas; not a Suzanne Collins, JK Rowling, or Veronica Roth. Despite the novel doing very well here in Australia, getting a gong in the national awards, and despite it being represented overseas by a top-shelf dream agent, those publishers on the top side of the world have turned it down, deeming the book ‘too quiet.’
On the chat forums I frequented, the interactions were businesslike. People would ask me my age, my clothing size, my bra size, and details about my genitalia. I would lie, of course. After some time, they would be satisfied and suggest we meet up to have sex. At this point I would reject them. Apoplectic rage and any amount of slurs would follow and I would get my thrills watching them blow a fuse.
On Friday 4 August 1939, while members of the Queensland State Labor Caucus were having their morning meeting in a room in Parliament House in Brisbane, a group of 37 men, calling themselves the ‘Social Justice League’, entered, making threats, carrying batons, coils of barbed wire, hammers, knuckledusters and other tools. Barricading themselves in, they demanded a 40-hour week, lower taxes and tolls, unemployment relief, cooperative ownership of primary industry, and a ‘stabilised price’ for farmers.
No Home Movie is, at first ironically perhaps, precisely that: a home movie consisting primarily of conversations between Akerman and her mother Natalia (Nelly), recorded in the months before Nelly’s death. Yet this title also contains an important negation of the ‘domesticated’ history of amateur filmmaking traditions when brought into the family home.
The stereotype of the innocent, asexual child is crude, antiquated – and dangerous. As Steven Angelides has persuasively argued, linking childhood with asexuality ‘misrepresents and simplifies child sexuality, sending children the message that sexual behaviour, for them, is dangerous and wrong’. This link makes it more difficult for children to discuss sex and sexuality, and to report sexual abuse.