Eat the sky, drink the ocean edited by Kirsty Murray, Payal Dhar and Anita Roy

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Allen and Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781743319789
(Age: 14+) Eat the sky, drink the ocean is collection of short stories written in collaboration between Australian and Indian female authors and illustrators. A few of the Australian authors who have contributed to this book include Kate Constable, Alyssa Brugman, Anita Roy, Margo Lanagan and Isabelle Carmody to mention a few. There are eighteen short stories in at the sky, drink the ocean including six graphic novels and one script. The stories in this book all feature a sci-fi or futuristic theme with most centering on a strong female character. Each of these stories are inspired by the need to depict women in an empowered position following prominent rape and violence cases in 2012, in Melbourne with the rape and murder of Jill Meagher and similar incidents in Dehli around the same time. Despite this common theme, each of the stories in this book are very different, ranging from the graphic novel story of a women's rite of passage, Swallow the moon by Kate Constable and Priya Kuriyan to Margo Lanagan's Cat calls about dealing with the sexual comments thrown at a group of school girls. Other future possibilities are explored such as Manjula Padmanabhan's Cool which describes the digital relationship boy and girl teenagers have as part of the group of humans travelling to colonies on Saturn.
The stories Eat the sky, drink the ocean at times stretch the realms of possibilities in order to explore future worlds where men and women are treated as equals. The reversal of our gender balance is explored in a few of the stories where women are shown as the dominant gender with men a fighting for equality. Some of the analogies, imagery and abstract concepts presented in this book would be best understood by older readers, as for example in Penni Russon's What a stone can't feel explains how a girl morphs herself into stone objects to move around her school and spy on people. This is why this book would be best suited to readers 14 years or older but equally some of the stories, particularly the graphic stories, might be suited to readers slightly younger.
Adam Fitzgerald