My metadata article, motherhood narratives and This One Summer

I’ve been published again! I am honoured that The Journal of Popular Romance Studies has published my second (well third but I rarely ever mention my first paper published on hypermedia) scholarly paper. This article is on metadata interplays, the paratext of category romance and Public Lending Rights. I am particularly pleased that the Journal is open access so you can read the full text when you click here.

 

My reading in the past week:

Once again, Tessa Dare’s book is left waiting in my TBR pile but I still don’t have time for a prolonged read. It is now spring so maybe by next week I will have read it.

Last week, I also had a right royal whinge about JM Coetzee and how I didn’t like his short stories. Despite this, I ended up recommending the offending story for my son to use as a related text for his high school English assignment. A timely reminder why people must not only read widely but also engage with materials that they may dislike as you never know when they will be useful.

Things I wish I'd knownThings I wish I’d known: women tell the truth about motherhood

edited by Victoria Young

Mothermorphosis: Australian storytellers write about becoming a mother

edited Monica Dux

I enjoy reading motherhood narratives. I like getting an insight about how bringing up babies and children changes different women’s understanding of themselves and their connection with their community. I run in horror away from those publications filled with flowery, precious epithets and aspirational motivation quotes as, for me, they just serve to diminish the real experiences that women go through, and instead, serve as a false benchmark of earth mother “your instincts lead you” precious proselytising that only serve to make me feel inadequate. Nor am I interested in parenting “how to” books. I want the personal stories. The narratives that reflect the difficulties and the enjoyment that different women experience when they have their kids.

MothermorphosisBoth the publications managed to have stories reflecting how women writers have coped with their own individual circumstances. From single parents, couples, sleeplessness, the Breastapo (hehe – I’m familiar with the Lactose Nazis but I do like this term too), tears from both babies and mothers, anger at officialdom which seem more focused at meeting government targets than dealing with individual needs, sadly at the expense of a woman’s mental health and many more. The stories were touching and lovely (though in the Australian publication they were a tad too drawn out). However, all the women were writers and after a while the stories all melted into one, despite all their personal differences. I think I would have preferred more varied voices and not only writers so I will just keep searching. In the meanwhile, I did like the UK publication a little bit more than the Australian one.

This One SummerThis One Summer

by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

I’m a sucker for gorgeous art work and I must say that I borrowed this graphic novel completely on the strength of the delightful cover art. Rose spends her summers at a lakeside with her parents but spends most of her time with her summer holiday friend, Windy. The girls are in those pre-teen years where watching the dramas of older teens in this holiday location is part of their daily routine. Rose’s parents are still trying to deal with a miscarriage from the previous year, their sadness permeating the family’s life and vibrating off the pages. Rose is still young and is quick to judge and misunderstands the actions of people both close to her, as well as those who are in her community but not part of her own social sphere. Windy is less judgmental and worries when she hears Rose speaking harshly. Despite this, the two girls enjoyment and closeness, especially when they are watching horror movies, is remininscent of summer holidays when I was younger. I loved the different stories occurring around these two young girls. The storytelling is slow and languorous, just like a heated, lazy summer holiday. I really enjoyed this book.

All three of these books were borrowed from a NSW public library.

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