After watching three seasons of Transparent, I find myself envying the Jews. The transgressions of the self absorbed, upper middle class Californian-Jewish Pfefferman clan makes my own dysfunctional family seem so excruciatingly banal that I'm wishing I could wallow in all that Jewish trauma. Which is perverse of course, and that to me is the attraction of Transparent.
This book is, in my view, a return to McEwan's former storytelling brilliance (after Solar and Sweet Tooth) because he does what he does best - explore the emotional crevices between love and devotion, love and hate, love and sex, love and morality, love and virtue.
Written in a compelling dystopian tone, I appreciated the confidence author Charlotte Wood has in the reader to absorb her nuanced exploration of the complexities that make up the "female condition".
A mish-mash of talents, from the awesomely indefatigable George Gittoes, the infectiously confident spoken word artist Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa, to the vibrantly charming Malaysian dissident cartoonist Zunar were some of this year’s line up of storytellers at the Carnival of the Bold 2016 (June 6, 2016).
The most encouraging aspect of the conference was that diversity was a reality and a given, not an ideal or a promise. I was among Asian Australians of many colours and ages sharing ideas about the meaning of diaspora, hybridity, diversity and faith, transnationalism, mobilities, gender, art.
I’ve read Japanese-Australian history, important works by historians Yuriko Nagata or Neville Meaney. But Mayu’s Yasukichi was my first encounter with a real person who was one of the early Japanese settlers, albeit dead now, but his ghost appears in the show. It made history personally relevant.