It’s been forever, I know.

First things first. Quintana of Charyn has been chosen as one of Kirkus Books Best Teen Books of 2013.

Next, here is the cover of the Penguin Classic edition of Looking For Alibrandi which will come out next April. Alibrandi turned 21 this year. It marked the beginning of my published writing career and it’s amazing to know that readers still see it as refreshing and topical.

looking for alibrandi

Here is also an essay by the wonderfully talented Alice Pung, who wrote the multi award winning, Unpolished Gem, and Her Father’s Daughter.

When I read Alice’s essay I had a bit of cry. More than a bit. I have an antagonistic relationship with Alibrandi because I’ve spent so many years trying not to be defined by it, but Alice’s words made me remember the change it bought into the life of its shy, awkward writer.  It made me remember how much confidence this novel has given me, and how it’s shaped every decision I’ve made as a writer.  And more than anything, the essay reminded me of how the novel gave some of us a voice.  I love where I live, but I grew up feeling like I was part of the minority and I still believe we need to work harder to share this country with others who don’t belong to a dominant culture.

Which leads to the wonderful work done by the Edmund Rice Centre when it comes to asylum seekers.  The next link is the teaching guide for refugee issues across the curriculum.  I’m proud that Finnikin of the Rock is on the reading list.  The Lumatere Chronicles are certainly part of a response to the refugee crises and I’d encourage anyone in a classroom to work with the ERC’s intelligent teaching resource, whether you live in Australia or the rest of the world.  The piece of dialogue from Evanjalin in Finnikin of the Rock that I’m most proud of is “It’s against the rules of humanity to believe there is nothing we can do.‘ and I’m always grateful to social justice organisations for reminding me of that.

Here is the link:

Next, but short and sweet, but I promise Jellicoe the film, is still happening, so be patient and watch this space in the new year.

Last, but not least, I rarely speak about my personal life, but this month I became a mum to a 2 year old.  She’s a delight and has a sense of joy and hope in her eyes,  yet I do believe she’ll make my hair go all that much grey in her teenage years, because she’s already so headstrong. No female protagonist I’ve ever written has prepared me for this…well perhaps Princes Jasmina. We’re finding our rhythm with each other at the moment, but I can already hear, in her laughter, the beauty in that song.

18 thoughts on “6th December 2013: A whole lot of different stuff

  1. Alexa

    Congratulations on becoming a Mum, what lovely news 🙂

    The new cover is gorgeous definitely one to add to my collection.

  2. kristina

    congratulations! such wonderful news 🙂

    ps. i think Channing Tatum should play jonah, i love all your books

    also listen to this song it reminds me of Isaboe and her journey home

  3. Melissa Elliott

    Wonderful post with wonderful news all around, especially your new daughter–kudos to you for accepting that challenge. I’d like to take this opportunity to say that while I really liked Finnikin on first read (and on second), the two sequels took your writing and storytelling to a whole new level. I was absolutely enthralled, and the minute I finished each one, I wanted to turn around and start reading it again. The characters, the situations, the values expressed were beautifully realized. I recommend that series to someone weekly.

  4. kitkat

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to get the Penguin Looking for Alibrandi. Someone borrowed mine ages ago and never gave it back. Loved Alice Pung’s essay. I was just saying to someone the other day how much I identified with Josie, what with the whole being stuck between two cultures thing.

  5. therainhouse

    I hope your daughter doesn’t steal letters like Jasmina does! =D

  6. Fabienne

    Congratulations and all the best, Melina!
    It is so wonderful that everything is going well in your life!
    I cannot wait for that LFA cover.

  7. theworldaccordingtoeden

    Congratulations! I am also a mom of a two and a half year old (boy) and certainly can relate to having someone very head strong around! It is completely unlike anything in the universe to feel true unconditional love, isn’t it? You are my favorite writer and it’s so nice to know updates from you. Thanks.

  8. Sarah Wood

    Congratulations on everything and thank you for this post, it really encouraged me (I’m struggling through the delightful but infuriating process of my first novel).

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