Review Blog

Sep 09 2019

Meet me at the intersection ed. by by Rebecca Lim and Ambelin Kwaymullina

cover image

Fremantle Press, 2018. ISBN: 9781925591705.
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Themes: LGTQI, Disability, People of colour, Aboriginal people, Prejudice, Schools, Bullying, Migration. With artwork on the cover by Amblein, the circles representing those people marginalised within our society, be they the people of the First Nations as shown by the central circle, or those disabled, people of colour or LGBTIQ or those new to the country, the stories inside the covers reflect where their stories all intersect, they reveal the similarities and differences each story displays, leading to an outstanding recognition of their voices, as diverse and intertwining as is Australia.
I loved reading them and they will attract a loyal following, for those whose stories are reflected in these words and those for whom these words and ideas are new. I adore Kelly Gardiner's mirror on the 1950's, 'Trouble, a time of Frank Sinatra and motorbikes', when expresso coffee was new and to many, suspicious. Where two girls meet over their motorbikes and the world opens.
And Ambelin Kwaymullina's poignant poem, 'Embers' is a cry from the heart for people to be seen as themselves, not in terms of their difference. Anna Pajalik tells a haunting story of trying to blend into school in a monocultural Australia, in 'School of Hard Knocks', showcasing the undercurrents that exist in schools.
Each of the eighteen stories and poems reflects a different approach to being Australian, of being different in Australia, of rubbing up against those for whom difference matters, but in the end everyone simply wants to be accepted for who they are, and these stories are presented to an audience for whom meeting at the intersection might be a new experience but is well worth the trip.
Fremantle Press has published a book that can be read and reread, used in classrooms with ease and one that will encourage others to meet at the intersection. Teacher's notes are available.
Fran Knight

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