Banana Girl launched on 7th November.
Thanks all around! Thanks to Barry Scott from Transit Lounge for fishing my manuscript out of the slush pile those many years ago and having a read of it, and eventually publishing it (well, a leaner and more edited version). Thanks to Readings in Carlton for hosting the launch. Thanks to Van Badham for officially doing the speech thing and launching it, and speaking so eloquently and fiercely – oh my goodness, I got the nice jitters hearing her speak so incisively to the themes in my book. Thanks to my friends who came along, and including those insane friends who bought multiple copies. Thanks to the army of freelancers behind Barry. Thanks to my family for my unique upbringing in the wonderfully bland burbs of Canberra. To my partner for his indefatigable support. To the people in the book.
The launch was a sweet night, and as it settled on me that the book is a real live thing with readers I may or may not know, I had a surreal feeling that possibly a parent may feel when their newborn arrives into the world. I created this? OH MY GOD. I created this… what next? Somebody, please, tutor me! WHAT NEXT?
I’ve never felt this way about a theatre show before, because the preceding development stages get you comfortably acquainted with the work. But with a book, you don’t really get to know it until it’s launched.
Tonight news.com.au published an article about the book. I’d done an interview on Thursday and this is how that interview ended up by Sunday; an article with my mug on it, smiling, accompanying a proclamation about racism in Australia. I suspect the sub-editor carved the catchy headline for the article, because my conversation with the journalist didn’t centre on racism in Australia. The book doesn’t either. But perhaps the un-written flip-side of ‘Asian Australian identity’ – which is broadly where the book might sit thematically – is racism in Australia.