I usually write my completion post for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge, around the middle of the year, even though I plan to take part until the year’s end. As in previous years, I signed up for the top-level, Franklin, which involves reading 10 books and reviewing at least 6, and as in previous years I’ve exceeded this. However, it’s good to get the completion post out of the way before the end of year madness begins!
I have, so far this year, contributed 16 reviews to the challenge, two more than for last year’s completion post.
Here’s my list in alphabetical order (by woman author), with the links on the titles being to my reviews:
- Louisa Atkinson’s “A voice from the country: January” (Newspaper column)
- Carmel Bird’s Family skeleton (Novel)
- Maxine Beneba Clarke’s The hate race: A memoir (Memoir)
- Mena Calthorpe’s The dyehouse (Novel)
- Rebekah Clarkson’s Barking dogs (Short story collection)
- Ally Cobby Eckermann’s Inside my mother (Poetry collection)
- Madelaine Dickie’s Troppo (Novel)
- Sara Dowse’s As the lonely fly (Novel)
- Janette Turner Hospital’s Orpheus lost (Novel)
- Maria Katsonis and Lee Kofman’s Rebellious daughters (Memoir essays)
- Louise Mack’s The world is round (Classic novel)
- Emily Maguire’s An isolated incident (Novel)
- Kim Mahood’s Position doubtful (Memoir)
- Linda Neil’s All is given (Memoir)
- David Carlin and Francesa Rendle-Short’s The near and the far: New stories from the Asia-Pacific Region (Short story anthology)
- Jill Roe’s Our fathers cleared the bush (Memoir/History)
Unlike last year’s half-way list, I did review one classic and a book by an indigenous woman author this year. There are other differences too. Last year I’d read just three memoirs (with two of those being hybrid biography-memoirs) while this year I’ve reviewed five memoirs to date. The fiction-nonfiction ratio, though, is still roughly the same.
Last year, I ended the post on plans for the rest of the year – and said that they would include reading at least one indigenous woman, Ali Cobby Eckermann, which indeed I did (her Ruby Moonlight). This year, however, I’m not setting out any plans. I do know I’ll be reading Heather Rose’s Stella Prize winner, The museum of modern love, as my reading group is doing that. (We will be reading a couple of other women writers, but they are not Australian.) As for the rest of my reading plans for the year, they are undefined – which means I could very well be as surprised as you by what turns up!