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Transcript: Grace Yee at the launch of Chinese Fish

‘We all grew up communicating in this hybrid language that we later couldn’t teach or hand down to our own children, because it was so make-shift, transitional…I am very happy to have written a little of it down now for posterity, in this book.’

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Transcript: Sanya Rushdi at the launch of Hospital

‘I never thought I’d write a novel. But it’s the writing habit that I built up by keeping a diary, together with the help and encouragement of my beloved Tanvir Ahmed Chowdhury, my publisher and friend Bratya Raisu, and my friend Monzurul Ahsan Olee that led to the completion of the original, Bengali version of this novel called Hospital.’

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A poem by Louise Carter from Golden Repair

‘You waited for me to turn up and then when I did/we said yes to each other almost immediately/and the roof disappeared from your Lotus Elise/the sky so ecstatically blue/every pop tune a hymn.’

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Louise Carter: a note on Golden Repair

‘I see lyric poetry as humanity’s first recording device, one that can capture the sound of a person’s voice, as well as their aliveness. I’m also interested in poetry’s archival capabilities, which is why many of these poems include references specific to my suburban upbringing. I feel lucky to have grown up in a time when our gods were pop stars, singing songs of praise and lament to teenage girls; themselves gods.’ 

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‘Green mantis’: a poem by Luke Beesley from In the Photograph

‘Oh, look! There’s so and so, said the author (it was the editor of the national literary papers). I could see a review in his eyes. Recognising me, his face frowned thoughtfully in critique. But he passed on. Phew, said the author, and I felt her breath on the hairs of my forearm. My forearm moving across the page!’

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Pip Adam: a note on Audition

‘ I was interested in what happens when someone grows too big for the space society allocates them. I kept hearing my grandmother telling me I was getting, Too big for my boots.’

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Luke Beesley: a note on In the Photograph

‘Over years of editing, the often-surreal images of these poems have become as strong, if not stronger, than my own memories, particularly given they play out in very specific places – our backyard, on the Mernda Line train, in the medium lane at Northcote Aquatic, walking to my son’s school.’

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A poem by Grace Yee from Chinese Fish

Read a poem from page 49 of the Melbourne-based poet’s 2023 collection, described by Chris Tse as ‘an unflinchingly honest look at life behind closed doors, where resentment simmers, generations clash, and individual dreams are set aside for the interests of family.’

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Grace Yee: a note on Chinese Fish

‘The title feels a little treacherous, almost illicit: a talking back that flies in the face of the ‘model minority’ imperatives we were brought up with – be quiet, lie low, know your place – all of which were amplified for women and girls.’

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Sanya Rushdi: a note on Hospital

‘My PhD candidature in psychology at Deakin University had been confirmed, and I had just received Ethics Approval to begin my research. I went to my office as usual, but soon afterwards, started to suspect the everyday things that were happening around me. I had a strange feeling of fear, restlessness and suspicion that drove me out of my office.’

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