Essays

Essays2019-06-20T08:08:49+08:00

Recovery

By |June 24th, 2020|

The events of the last few months have been too much. The world has been too much. The Virus. George Floyd. Black Lives Matter. Rio Tinto. 434 Aboriginal deaths in custody. 55 Indian journalists arrested for doing their jobs. Our Prime Minister talking Tim Tam diplomacy with his British counterpart. [...]

The Parable of Bansi Lal Babu

By |June 16th, 2020|

‘You remember Bansi Lal Babu?’ asks my father, frowning down at me as I sit on the floor of our lounge, back against the wall, ginger cat purring on my lap. I nod. I don’t know who he means, of course, but I’ve learned not to question his random, occasionally obscure [...]

Moving in from the margins

By |February 24th, 2020|

Talented Perth writer Emily Sun invited me over to her blog and asked me a series of  excellent questions, which I enjoyed answering. In this chat we talk about being writers of colour, being culturally and linguistically diverse, and why that is a problem/not a problem and how grammar ruined my [...]

The semantics of slaughter

By |March 22nd, 2019|

We know that language matters. As people of colour, especially, we know language matters. Pauline Hanson’s debut speech in Parliament in 1996 sent a shiver up my spine. Words like swamp, ghetto and assimilate spun in my mind as I hugged my daughter. She was still at primary school, old [...]

Hot Chocolate

By |November 11th, 2018|

Day One - A red and white tape stretches along the curvaceous corridor, like a scene of crime. I cannot think of crimes – I must focus – I am here to save my life, I think. The whine and blast of the thing that may indeed save my life is [...]

Peddling my wares

By |September 3rd, 2018|

These days I write the word ‘writer’ on forms that ask me what I do. I know I’ve earned it. I am that person – a published novelist. Publication has changed the way I view my profession. The secret is out. I can own it. Even when I’m questioned and occasionally [...]

A Ministry, a Garden, a God

By |May 19th, 2018|

I read a lot of books. For research mainly, or so I tell others and myself but also for pleasure, for comfort and to know myself better. I read fabulous books and ordinary ones, heartbreaking books and healing ones, smart books and hilarious ones, and I have a system of shelving [...]

Cultural Knowledge

By |April 27th, 2018|

Such a loaded term – cultural knowledge – coming as it does with its own set of expectations and hints of secrets. When I try to unpack it a little, I think about how knowledge differs from appropriation and what the keepers of cultural knowledge can do to protect themselves from [...]

Bearing Witness

By |November 22nd, 2017|

Google describes bearing witness as a term that refers to sharing our experiences with others, most notably in the communication to others of traumatic experiences. This term has been on my mind most of this year as I grapple with the hashtags of empathy and wondering why I had no desire [...]