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Sent on: 14-Feb-2012

Spinifex Press Newsletter
The Spin Newsletter, Issue 23, 14th Febuary 2012

Philippine Australian author Merlinda Bobis's much anticipated novel Fish-Hair Woman will be released in March. Fish-Hair Woman has been fifteen years in the writing, the germ of the book first appeared in Merlinda's collection of short stories White Turtle. Fish-Hair Woman is an epic tale of war, family, community and heartbreak. The magical Fish-Hair Woman, Estrella, is the child of an encounter between a young girl and one of the most powerful men in the country. Estrella's mother dies giving birth and she is taken into the family of the loving and eccentric Mamay Dulce. But slowly they are losing what was once theirs, the passionate farmers are forced to become tenants of their own land, while their children are pulled into the conflict. The Fish-Hair Woman follows Estrella, her country and family as they struggle with what they have lost.

Fish-Hair Woman, author Merlinda Bobis


Adelaide Writers' Week
When: Monday 5th March, 5pm
Where: Pioneer Women's Memorial Garden, West Stage, King William Road
Launched by: Gail Jones
For further information: Adelaide Writer's Week general enquiries (08) 8216 4444

When: Tuesday 6th March, 6 for 6.30pm
Where: Readings Bookshop, 309 Lygon Street, Carlton
Launched by: Jeff Sparrow
For further information contact Spinifex Press on 9329-6088

When: Tuesday 20h March, 6pm
Where: Manuka Paperchain Bookstore, 34 Franklin Street, Manuka
Launched by: Professor Jacqueline Lo
RSVP by 28th Febuary:


Merlinda Bobis and Francesca Rendle-Short author of Bite Your Tongue are speaking at a joint event hosted by the University of Wollongong's Faculty of Creative Arts as part of its Writer on Writing Series.
Hair, Tongue and History: Writing and Reading the Body
When: Monday 26th March, 4.30-6.30pm
Where: Theatrette, Wollongong City Library, 41 Burelli Street, Wollongong

Public lecture by Francesca Rendle-Short
Body to Body Between the Pages: Books, Censorship and Bite Your Tongue
When: Tuesday 27th March
Where: University of Wollongong, Faculty of Creative Arts, Bldg 25, Rm 163

Be the Hero! Storming Against Violence
Encouraging community dialogue and engagement about violence.
When:13-17th Febuary
Follow the links for more details.


Grab a copy of Australian Book Review to read a great review of Bite Your Tongue by Francesca Rendle Short.
Cow by Susan Hawthorne continues to garner praise, read this latest one in the Lambda Literary.
Patricia Sykes author of The Abbotsford Mysteries discussed her moving book and the story behind it on Radio National's 'Breakfast' program. 
Help I'm Living with a Man Boy by Psychotherapist Betty McLellan struck a note with couples around the world and has now been translated into thirteen different languages since its recent publication in Poland.
Polish Cover Help I'm Living with a Man Boy

Big Porn Inc editor Melinda Tankard Reist has recently come under attack in the media, blogs and the twittersphere. Rather than debate her on her arguments, the focus has been shifted to her as a person and her personal beliefs. It all started with an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, 'Who's Afraid of Melinda Tankard Reist' which had Anne Summers challenging Melinda's right to call herself a feminist, 'There is no such thing as a pro-life feminist'. There was a lot of misinformation circulated and anger directed at Melinda, especially on social media sites. In an article in the Age, Melinda writes about the culture of social media, where it seems to be acceptable to physically and verbally threaten rather than debate, 'Another day, another fresh wave of e.hate'. But at the same time Melinda received a lot of support and a call for reasonable debate. Spinifex directors Renate Klein and Susan Hawthorne defended Melinda in their article posted on the ABC's Religion and Ethics site 'The Authentic Feminism of Melinda Tankard Reist'. They argue that to be a feminist doesn't mean conforming to one view and we shouldn't be afraid to discuss the complexities of all issues. Also check out 'Feminism's clique does not help the cause,' in the Age, 'Plenty of room under the feminism umbrella' in the Sydney Morning Herald and Big Porn Inc contributor, Emma Rush's article on the ABC's Religion and Ethics site 'Media must do better on porn debate'.

There has been discussion of Australian Classics in the media recently. The Spinifex Feminist Classics list has existed for more than a decade. It includes fiction titles from Australia and overseas, as well as out of print non-fiction titles. We are progressively publishing the Spinifex Feminist Classics in both print and eBook formats. These books are stayers and many are listed as course reading material.
Re-released in November 2011: Anticlimax by Sheila Jeffreys
Re-released in August 2011: Remember the Tarantella by Finola Moorhead
Reprinted October 2011: Daughters of the Dreaming by Diane Bell
Reprinted October 2011: Feminist Fables by Suniti Namjoshi
And look out for the forthcoming re-release of The Lace Makers of Narsapur by Maria Mies

Spinifex Feminist Classics


To win a copy of Bite Your Tongue by Francesca Rendle-Short be the first person to email us at and tell us what suburb of Melbourne Spinifex Press is located and while you're at it feel free to drop by and check out our shelves.


Check out Stephanie Campisi's piece about the disturbing trends of YA cover girls, 'Why are our heroines losing their heads?'
Helen Lobato makes a sobering argument for appreciating the breasts you have, in her piece 'The recent implant conversation missed the point.'
Lise Weil's piece 'Why Christa Wolf Matters' is a tribute to the recently deceased feminist author and a lament that the news of such great writers passing can takes weeks or even months to reach international feminist networks.
Pauline Hopkins gives us food for thought around the recent sledging of Melinda Tankard Reist, 'Feminism Without Consequences.'
Ryl Harrison writes a heartfelt readers review of Bite Your Tongue.
Mary Crooks, Executive Director of the Victorian Women's Trust, writes that in order to tackle violence against women we need to see The end of the tolerator


For more regular Spinifex updates visit our News page, join us on Facebook and follow our twitter account: @spinifexpress.


Best Regards,
Spinifex Press Staff

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