Here we go. Review number 2 for the Australian Women Writers Challenge. Today I am tackling Jan Cornall, not only a writer but an institution in this country. She sings, she performs, she teaches, she is a mentor to many an artistic soul. Australian artists salute Jan Cornall, so let’s take a look inside her first published novel.
Take me to Paradise follows the journey of Marilyn, both her physical and emotional Journey. Marilyn wakes up one morning and instead of catching the bus to work, catches the ‘I don’t like Mondays’ flight to Bali. It is a poignant journey of self-discovery and self-recovery. A woman getting out of her element and in doing so she can strips away the trappings of her life and discovers what is truly her and versus what is a construction of her. It has many nods to metaphysical thought but also has that feeling of rebellion of like expressed in feminist movies like Thelma and Louise. I think this book would resonate with anyone who has had an existential crisis, midlife crisis, or went through those awkward teenage years, because all of these times are a deeply perplexing and painfully personal experience. The novella has a beautifully rich setting, with sights, smells, and sounds blasting at you. You feel as if you are immersed in this world. The tropic jungle descriptions in particular are quite powerful and make you want to travel. Take Me to Paradise shows how different the paradise dream can be: for a western woman, for a Balinese man, for a Balinese wife, and the many characters Marilyn meets.
Image purchased on fotolia, text added by me.
Every time I come across an article or a person saying that they’re all for breastfeeding in public as long as it is done discreetly I cannot help but think, what the? They then follow up with stories of women deliberately flaunting themselves in front of people and being really in your face about breastfeeding and how it was ‘unlady like.’ Again, what the? When I pursue people for what that means they go a bit quiet and mutter about how they don’t want to have an argument and either change the topic or walk off.
Here’s why they go quiet, lean in closer, closer, much closer, I am about to let you in on a big secret here, I don’t want to blab it out for the world to hear, it is just between you and me. The reason they go quiet is because it is UTTER BULLSHIT! People are not going out breastfeeding like a bunch of wonton hussies. They are not vile strumpets out to both steal your man and shame you for bottle feeding. I have never seen someone rip off their top in the middle of the café, stand up and donk their bazoongas on random people’s heads, scream out, ‘behold my fabulous mammaries, they are both sacred life givers that make me better than non-breastfeeding mothers, but also are super sexy and I’m being heaps indiscreet and flaunting them at you in a most sexual way yet still claiming they are natural and not sexy,’ – then plonk down and begin feeding. And you know why I haven’t seen it? Because it hasn’t happened! Seriously get a grip people. A woman should be able to quickly pop her nipple out of the top of her dress in order to put it in a baby’s mouth to feed it. You probably won’t even see the nipple because it usually is just that quick. There is less nipple exposure than there is on a beach where women are sunbaking topless.
So next time you feel like telling someone to wear a wrap, or do it discreetly, perhaps you should think if you actually mean you want them to be discrete, totally separate and alone and away from you. And if you think that, you better ask yourself why. Ask yourself do we have this perception that boobs are okay in movies, on the beach, in magazines, on billboards but not okay for feeding.
Women who breastfeed do it discreetly already, stop trying to force them to do it discretely.
Image purchased from fotolia text added by me.
I cannot wait to read Dreamers Pool. I love Juliett Marillier, she inspired me to start writing again. True story.
Okay, here is my first review as part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I’m not exactly sure how to do it, so let’s just take a deep breath, hold hands and get through this together. I’ve chosen Anita Heiss as my first author to review as I believe that she would be a firm, yet gentle, writer. Perfect for my first attempt at this. So here goes….
Tiddas- by Anita Heiss
Love that the main characters of this novel are slightly older than what is standard in this genre. There seems to be lots of books about women in their 20’s, 30’s then a big gap and they start again over 60 with some saucy senility texts. This book fills a big fat gap that has just been waiting to be filled.
I’m in my 30’s and loved this book. It’s about friendships, it’s about success, it’s about questioning what your dreams are and negotiating your own morality in the face of friends and society. Heavy themes but covered in a very fresh way so that you do not feel lectured at. Loved it.