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Sent on: 13-Aug-2013

Spinifex Press Newsletter
The Spin Newsletter, Issue 39, August2013


It was a good day for Storytelling on Sunday July 21. Spinifex, in partnership with Eltham Bookshop and Yarra Glen Libraries, was part of the 5th Annual Booklovers' Festival at Eltham Library. The event was Storytelling in Blue: Tales from India and saw Spinifex poet and librettist, Patricia Sykes, read two stories to some enthralled children; one from Suniti Namjoshi's Blue and the other from The Girl Who Hated Books. Eltham Bookshop owner, Meera, also read from Spinifex children's book Excuse Me, Is This India? to the delight of children and parents alike.

This Storytelling was also an unofficial launch of Suniti Namjoshi's fabulous Blue and Other Stories, so to close the event, 12-year-old Piper (daughter of Spinifex publicist, Pauline) read one more short story from Blue and did an absolutely marvellous job! 



Spinifex can reveal the (very lovely!) book covers of two forthcoming September releases.

Juno & Hannah by Beryl Fletcher is a novella set in 1920, concerning two sisters who live deep in the New Zealand bush, as part of a Christian fundamentalist settlement. One day a stranger washes up on the riverbank and Hannah goes to his aid, only to be accused of necromancy by the town elders after she saves his life - forcing the sisters to flee everything they have known in order to survive.
Stephanie Johnson (author of The Writing Class) calls Juno & Hannah a "gothic bush yarn" and says; "Beryl Fletcher's new novella abounds with vivid evocations of the natural world and some unforgettable female characters." 

Being and Being Bought: Prostitution, Surrogacy and the Split Self is the explosive non-fiction book from Swedish anarchist, Kajsa Ekis Ekman. Spinifex Director, Renate Klein, is especially excited for Ekman's book (which has already been released in France), and has this to say: "it's a brilliant exposé of prostitution and surrogacy -  written with a razor sharp intellect and disarming wit." 

Both of these books will be released in September, but are available for pre-order via our website (or you can shoot an email order off to


Big congratulations to the editors of Seeking Palestine: New Palestinian Writing on Exile and Home. The book has been shortlisted for the 2012 MEMO (Middle East Monitor) Award, given to the best book on Palestine for that year.

This is a huge honor for a most deserving book. Here's what MEMO had to say about Seeking Palestine back in April, when it was under consideration: 

Literary understandings of Palestine can help bring to life a country and its people. They can paint a picture of what food in the West Bank smells like or how the streets sound on a Friday afternoon. To the writers that make up Seeking Palestine, the idea of exile is more than just words; it is "images, fragments and memories." 


It's every book-lovers favourite time of year in Melbourne, and Festival fever has well and truly hit! Check out the Spinifex authors attending Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) this year! 


Francesca Rendle-Short, author of Bite Your Tongue, has two wonderful sessions at the Festival this year.

Between Friends (Friday August 23, 10AM) puts female friendships under the microscope. 

Style Versus Content (Friday August 23, 1:30PM) will see Francesca chairing a discussion, exploring the novel's rich possibilities beyond conventional narratives.


Anne Østby is the author of Town of Lovea book that paints a vivid picture of some of the world's most vulnerable women and children. In this town they are "women of love"; young women who make up a workforce tasked with feeding their families by selling their bodies. Even baby girls are welcome in this town of love, because one day they will be breadwinners, following in their mother's footsteps ... Only one woman dares to break free of this legacy. Her name is Tamanna, she is nineteen-years-old and she will risk everything for freedom. Even her daughter.

Anne is coming to Melbourne for the Festival, and will take part in the panel Bookwallah: Good Girls, Bad Girls and Terrible Truths, concentrating on the plight of women in India by sharing stories of modern Indian women. 

When: Friday August 30, 10AM
Where: ACMI Studio 1
Code: 4901

Anne will also be part of the Morning Read along with Marina Warner, Aidan Coleman, Kevin Kwan and chaired by Thuy On.
When: Sat 31 August, 10-11AM
Where: Venue Beer DeLuxe
This is a free event, and no bookings are required. 

After the Festival, Anne has some more exciting author events and appearances lined up.

Contagious Justice

In her new book Town of Love, Anne Ostby paints a vivid picture of some of the world’s most vulnerable women and children - the Indian women of the Nat caste, the ‘untouchables’. 

Forced into prostitution from a young age to be the breadwinners for their families, these women face a life of poverty and violence not of their choosing.

But is there a way of breaking free from this legacy of prostitution and creating a new and different life, a life of hope and freedom? Can the tradition of buying, selling and trafficking women be broken? Can we create a movement for justice that is contagious?

Join author Anne Ostby and a fantastic line-up of women as they discuss Town of Love and the important issues it addresses. This is a joint-event with The Victorian Women's Trust and Project Respect

FREE event 

5 for 5.30pm

Wednesday 4th September

Queen Victoria Women’s Centre 

210 Lonsdale St, Melbourne CBD

RSVP & inquiries to: or telephone (03) 9329 6088


Town of LoveAnne Ostby and Kaaron Warren in Conversation about women, confinement, and inspiration

Friday 6 September

5.45pm for 6pm

Paperchain Books 

34 Franklin St, Manuka ACT 2603

RSVP 6295 6723 or email

This event is being made possible by the Norweigan Embassy, and we owe them many thanks.  



An outstanding review in the Tasmanian Examiner this month, of Rachel Moran's explosive memoir Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution. Felicity Kirkpatrick from the Examiner wrote: "You'll laugh, cry and become enraged as you read this clearly difficult-to-pen memoir, as she details her endurance of substance, physical and mental abuse, extreme poverty, great loss and loneliness."

A beautiful review of Suniti Namjoshi's Blue and Other Stories is up on YARR-A (Young Adult Readers' Reviews - Australia): Blue and other stories is a collection of five short, illustrated fables told by Indian poet Suniti Namjoshi and beautifully illustrated by Nilima Sheikh. Each story is relatively short and contains a subtle message. The first story, The Unloved Queen looks at the meaning of one’s name and one’s place. Blue discusses the wonder of the colour blue while Kingfisher shows the value of thinking for oneself. The fourth story, Frog Life details the life of an extremely vain frog while the final story Bird Woman looks at a child who sprouts wings and her parent’s response. Each story addresses our world in an oblique and gentle way and work on many levels. The stories can be read and enjoyed by children and adults alike. This is a great book which I hope finds its way into many school libraries across Australia.



Spinifex Director and writer, Susan Hawthorne, has departed for Rome. She begins a six-month residency in the BR Whiting studio, thanks to the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. She will be missed, but we're all very excited for the work-in-progress she's toiling away on while in Italy.


For more Spinifex news, visit our News page, Facebook or follow us on Twitter: @spinifexpress  

Best Regards,
Spinifex Press Staff

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