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Sent on: 19-Mar-2013

Spinifex Press Newsletter
The Spin Newsletter, Issue 35, March 2013

Invisible Women of Prehistory: Three Million Years of Peace, Six Thousand Years of War
by Judy Foster with Marlene Derlet is a revolutionary book that challenges our preconceptions about the past. We often think of history as a linear development in which we are steadily moving out of a violent and patriarchal past into a more equitable and peaceful future. While we have no shortage of wars - and violence against women is alarmingly high - we are told that humans have never lived in such peaceful times. But what if none of this was true? What if we were descended from peaceful societies in which women were respected and equal to men?

Based on many years of research into ancient history and prehistory the authors argue that three million years of peace, a period when women's status in society was much higher than it is now, preceded the last six thousand years of war during which men have come to hold power over women.

Come and join us for a fun and stimulating night. Judy Foster will talk about the findings of the book and how it might change how we view ourselves in a discussion with Tricia Szirom, Chris Sitka and Alex Nissen.
WHEN: 14th May, 6 for 6.30pm
WHERE: Readings Hawthorn, 701 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, Victoria
RSVP: 6 April. Tel: 03 9329 6088 or


Town Of Love by Anne Ch. Ostby

They call them 'women of love,' but the lyrical beauty of the term has a hidden dark side: a workforce of very young girls tasked with feeding their families by offering up their bodies for sale. The girls belong to the Nat, which includes some of India's poorest. For centuries, the Nat men have sent their daughters, sisters and wives into the sex trafficking. How would anyone dare break free of this legacy of prostitution, when it would also mean being shunned by your entire family?

Our nineteen-year-old heroine Tammana dares to do such a thing and runs away. But it costs her dearly—she is forced to leave her five-year-old daughter Rupa behind. Eight years later, Tammana knows that time is running out for Rupa. She demands help, both from the police and the underfunded aid organisation Pukaar. And who could look a mother in the face and argue that saving her daughter isn't worth risking everything?

The 'women of love' continue to exist in India today, in the northern state of Bihar where the author has travelled extensively and come to know them.

"Having personally met the survivors of trafficking about whom this is written, I know that Anne Ostby's novel deserves world attention. It is the essence of a terrible truth that must be exposed.Gloria Steinem 



Last Thursday was the launch of Finola Moorhead's re-released manifesto, A Handwritten Modern Classic at Collected Works Bookshop. It was standing-room-only at the little bookshop with berni m janssen launching, and speaking of how she was "breath-taken" by Finola's work. Collected Works owner Kris Hemensley also spoke, as did Spinifex Director Susan Hawthorne - both reminiscing about Melbourne's 1970s literary scene and Finola's place in it. Thanks to all who attended the launch, and Collected Works for hosting. A Handwritten Modern Classic is now available.

Seeking Palestine: New Palestinian Writing on Exile and Home edited by Penny Johnson and Raja Shehadheh received a glowing review in The Electronic Intifada

In Mashariki the writer finds similarities in her own story and that of the main character, Deola, in A Bit of Difference by Sefi Atta. In the Nigerian Tribune, Sefi speaks about how she found her way to becoming a writer, by having stories to share. Sefi also features on 'Channels Bookclub' speaking to Rev. Matthew Kukah, and in honour of Black History Month her book Everything Good Will Come is reviewed by the LitStack blog.  

Sandy Jeffs has written a very moving and deeply personal blog for Lip Magazine, titled 'schizophrenia and the writer: curse of the self.' Here, Jeffs reflects on being a poet and a 'madwoman', she writes about the painful writing process when she is dogged by the voices in her head, and the positive response she has received from critics and fans of her poetry books (in direct contrast to those doubting voices who plague her). 

Melinda Tankard-Reist has been nominated in the People's Choice Contest of the 11th Annual Human Rights Awards! Melinda is the author of Spinifex books Big Porn Inc and Getting Real, she is also one of the founders of grassroots campaign Collective Shout against sexploitation and she is a respected speaker, media commentator and advocate for women and girls. You can vote for Melinda here. And you can read the Brisbane Times article 'Stealing the Innocence of Children' which quotes Melinda. 

Fantastic article on fearless crusader and United Nations chief advocate for human rights, Mary Robinson. Mary was one of the contributing writers to The Unfinished Revolution: Voices From the Global Fight for Women's Rights, her chapter focused on child marriage. 

Vandana Shiva is the focus of a new article for The Guardian, discussing biodiversity and why the world's seed supply should be in the hands of farmers and not big corporations. This is also the topic of Vandana's latest book, Making Peace with the Earth which is now available from Spinifex. 

Blogger Marilyn Dell Brady has written a wonderful review of Betty McLellan's Unspeakable: A Feminist Ethic of Speech, saying she "gives the best response to such issues that I have encountered." Marilyn also reviewed Giti Thadani's book Moebius Trip, recommending it to "those interested in female images of the divine.

Spinifex author, Zohl dé Ishtar, has written a beautiful blog on 'Why Protecting the Ancient Rock Art of the Pilbara & Kimberley is Imperative

Continuing to celebrate the re-release of Finola Moorhead's A Handwritten Modern Classic, she will be appearing on the Triple R radio show, 'Aural Text' and speaking to Alicia Sometimes. Listen out for the show, tomorrow (20 March) at 1.20pm!

Patricia Sykes, author of The Abbotsford Mysteries will be attending 'Poetry at the Gods' on April 9, at 6.30pm (bookings are essential!)  

Melinda Tankard-Reist will be speaking on the topic of 'Are girls being taught they are sex objects?' at Panania Anglican Church on Wednesday May 22 in NSW. For more information, click here

Spinifex author Lizz Murphy will be attending 'Stories from the Snowy' literary festival. For more information, visit the Festival website

A collaborative piece by Danielle Binks, Bernadette Green & Helen Lobato, 'Mother Damned' looks at the tightrope a mother needs to walk in order to gain approval, particularly where the media is concerned.

Mary Lucille Sullivan in 'Legalised prostitution- a failed experiment' discusses the reality of prostitution and trafficking, rejecting the views of Scarlett Alliance. These arguments are also examined in Mary's book Making Sex Work: A Failed Experiment With Legalised Prostitution 

The Spinifex Facebook reaches thousands of readers. This month we reached more than 90,000 people.

For more regular Spinifex updates visit our Newspage, join us on Facebook and follow us on twitter @spinifexpress

Best Regards,
Spinifex Press Staff

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