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Sent on: 06-Sep-2017

Spinifex Press Newsletter
August Newsletter
Welcome to The Spin newsletter coming to you from Spinifex Press, the award-winning independent feminist press. This August edition brings our latest news, book reviews, new releases and events.

New releases for August


Dark Matters: A novel

by Susan Hawthorne

In a dawn raid, Kate is arrested. She is imprisoned, beaten, kept awake and tortured. She has no idea what has happened to her partner, Mercedes. The uncertainty plagues her. It is as if she has no history. Trying to retain her sense of self in a swirling psychic state, she invents stories. And she remembers stories of her mother, her grandmothers and aunts, the rich mythic traditions of Greece. She rearranges them and writes poems in her head. 

Susan Hawthorne’s dark story uncovers the hidden histories of organised violence against lesbians. She traces fear and uncertainty, and finds a narrative of resilience created through the writing of poems. The author asks: how do we pass on stories hidden by both shame and resistance to shame? A novel that is poetic and terrifying.


Accidents of Composition

by Merlinda Bobis

In her latest collection of poetry, award-winning author Merlinda Bobis traces the accidents of art and life. Drawing on the journal of Pigafetta whose writings have become an accident of history, Merlinda Bobis composes with an attuned ear and her poems are rich with imagery; with breath and heart.

In these troubled times tainted with fear, hate, and despair, ‘there is hope for us,’ the poems assure us. In them I hear an exquisite polyphony of voices: passionate and poised, sensuous and serene, lyrical and philosophical. Like incantations, these poems ask to be read and heard aloud.Subhash Jaireth

New releases for September


Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation

by Renate Klein

In Surrogacy: A Human Rights Violation Renate Klein details her objections to surrogacy by examining the short- and long-term harms done to the so-called surrogate mothers, egg providers and the female partner in a heterosexual commissioning couple. Klein also looks at the rights of children and compares surrogacy to (forced) adoption practices. She concludes that surrogacy, whether so-called altruistic or commercial can never be ethical and outlines forms of resistance to Stop Surrogacy Now.

It is the global advertising campaigns that groom infertile couples and gay men that have led to the establishment of multibillion cross-border industries:
money made literally from women’s flesh.


I'm the Girl Who Was Raped

by Michelle Hattingh

I am the statistic that I read about. I am the thing I always feared most. I am rape.

That morning, Michelle had presented her psychology thesis on rape. It began: ‘A woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read …’ That evening, celebrating her degree, she and a friend go to the beach, where they are robbed, assaulted and raped. This story is one shared by women throughout the world — of living through a nightmare and trying to hold onto sanity.

This is the story of the girl who was raped.

Michelle Hattingh is devastatingly, heartbreakingly honest as she recounts her own experience of rape and its aftermath. — Betty McLellan, feminist ethicist, psychotherapist and author

Book Reviews



Lady of the Realm

by Hoa Pham

Although it’s set in Vietnam, tracing many decades of that country’s tragic history, it’s a calm, meditative book which asserts that peace is possible. I liked it very much. Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers

Lady of the Realm can be read on a number of levels. It begins as a rite of passage story with Liên attempting to come to terms with the foresight the Lady has given her and reconcile her feelings about what has happened to her village with Buddhist teachings about compassion. On a broader level, it is an exploration of the choices survivors make in the midst of war and during the upheavals that follow it. There are few villains here—especially not the people smuggler and black marketeer who risks her life to help people who have given up hope to escape by sea to Malaysia.Lynn Smailes, Pen Melbourne


Gardasil:Fast-Tracked and Flawed

by Helen Lobato

Lobato concludes her book with an appeal to the media to do their job and give the public the fuller story about the HPV vaccine. You may not agree with her version of the story at all points, but she has shown Big Media some of the things they could be airing in the interests of informed debate.
Carolyn Moynihan, MercatorNet

Award News

Debut novelist shortlisted for two awards in the UK


We Go Around In The Night And Are Consumed By Fire by Jules Grant has been shortlisted for the 2017 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award and for the 2017 Polari First Book Prize.

A tale of friendship, survival and finding out how far you'd go to avenge and protect those you love, We Go Around in the Night and Are Consumed by Fire is a thrillingly original crime novel that unfolds at breakneck speed - at once furious, tender and heartbreaking.

Book Launches


Lady of the Realm by Hoa Pham was launched by Alice Pung at Readings Carlton. Great crowd and interesting speeches.

The perspective is female and Buddhist, and all that Liên desires is lasting peace, which she seems doomed never to experience. The story of the 2009 destruction of the Prajna Monastery is particularly surprising and saddening. — Kerryn Goldsworthy, Sydney Morning Herald


Ann Hannah, My (Un)Remarkable Grandmother: A Psychological Biography
by Betty McLellan was launched in Townsville by Coralie McLean

This book is guaranteed to generate the most fascinating conversations about grandmothers. Betty McLellan, psychotherapist and feminist activist, brings experience and insight to this vital work of unearthing. In this calm, strong biography, Ann Hannah is thoughtfully brought to life for us. This tender provocation of a book prompts us to pay profound attention to our ‘unremarkable’ grandmothers – to take the time to remark upon, and value, the women’s history embedded in their unrecorded lives.
Gina Mercer, author of Parachute Silk: Friends, Food, Passion – A Novel in Letters


Multi-award winning author Merlinda Bobis with Consul General Nina Cainglet who launched Merlinda Bobis's new book of poems Accidents of Composition at the Canberra Writers Festival on August 26

In her latest collection of poetry, award-winning author Merlinda Bobis traces the accidents of art and life. Drawing on the journal of Pigafetta whose writings have become an accident of history, Merlinda Bobis composes with an attuned ear and her poems are rich with imagery; with breath and heart.

The volcanics of poem and story are among [Bobis’] driving forces. But here ‘the weight of what we have written’ carries a new urgency. What is at stake is the deep kinship of all life mediated by our own species. Just as a ‘tiny gumnut’ is a ‘primeval dissident’, so the ‘presuming poet’ must keep ‘tuning in’. Awe, grief, joy, love are among her companions of choice. The journey leaves none untouched.—
Patricia Sykes

Author Events

Khulud khamis author of Haifa Fragments was a guest at the 2017 Greenbelt Festival held in the UK. Greenbelt is a festival of arts, faith and justice. In addition to her book reading, khulud took part in The Red Tent. According to khulud, the red tent "was a place of refuge, a place of honesty, a place of fun and empowerment."

But Haifa Fragments is a special book, a novel set as the title suggests in Haifa, a city where I spent time a while back, on a subject that has been dear to my heart for over a quarter of a century.—Sara Dowse

Judy Horacek fabulous cartoonist and author of Life on the Edge was a guest of the 2017 Melbourne Writers Festival. Judy appeared in Creative Women  along with Kate Holden and Leah Purcell.
"The life of cartoons in newspapers and magazines is so brief; I like to give my cartoons another chance at life in this way. I also love seeing what the work looks like as a whole, because it's been done in pieces over a number of years."

Author in the Media


In this podcast Power, Porn, and Patriarchy, Dan Griffin and Dr. Robert Jensen, author of The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men and professor at The University of Texas, have a very frank and challenging conversation about pornography and its role in reinforcing patriarchal power dynamics, which contend that all human relationships must be structured around domination and subordination.

Check out our new catalogue

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Best Regards,
Spinifex Press Staff

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