Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Challenge Accepted

Elizabeth Lhuede at Australian Women Writers has issued a marvellous challenge for 2012, encouraging readers to celebrate a year of Aussie women's writing. She's aiming to combat mainstream male-oriented gender bias by actively promoting the awesomeness of our local authoresses. The idea is to read and review as many female authored books as possible in the lead up to the inaugural Stella Prize.

The challenge runs from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012. You can choose from just one genre or dabble in a few and you can read three, six or ten books (or many more if you so choose), reviewing along the way.

Looking back at my reads of late, I was stoked to discover that four of them were written by Australian women and, quite subconsciously, non-fiction dominated. I won't stick to a single genre though in my aim to polish off ten books and review a third of them. The locals on my wish list who'll be bumped straight to the top include Tara Moss, Helen Garner and Geraldine Brooks. Heaps of other fabulous females will undoubtedly distract me along the way.  I still haven't read Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch - what a great excuse to do so.

While I'm at it, I'll read more books by women everywhere. I'm very excited about all three parts of Janet Frame's autobiography (I recently picked it up at a second hand book shop in New Zealand), and Caitlin Moran's How to be a Woman is still sitting on the piledespite being recommended it months ago. Jane Austen and George Eliot will feature too.

What a great opportunity to get amongst. I'll post my reviews throughout the year.


  1. Hi Amy

    Great to have you join the AWW 2012 challenge. :)

    Have you heard of Bookdout's Eclectic Reading challenge? Some of us are combining the two (the other isn't just for Aussie writers).

    I haven't selected my books yet.. I'm hoping to create lists of books out next year so I can combine some new releases. Any tips for nonfiction greatly appreciated. It's going to be a fun year!


  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    I'm so enthusiastic about this challenge. Roll on January 1! I haven't heard of the Eclectic Reading Challenge. Thanks for alerting me - I'll check it out. I'm currently reading Melbourne by Sophie Cunningham and recently read Madame Brussels: This Moral Pandemonium by L.M Robinson and Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks. They are all fantastic books.

  3. Amy, you have to shunt Greer and Moran further up your reading list - the 'Female Eunuch' and 'How to be a Woman' are fundamental - nay, critical reads for every woman and any man. They aren't about hairy pitted feminist warfare, they are about what it means to be female, to be feminine and the constructs which can both constrain and celebrate us. You don't need to like them or agree with every point, but they should be read and thought about and an awareness should linger and inform your own ideal of being a woman and/or how you percieve women.

    AND they are funny, engaging reads - Greer lost me a little with a chapter exploring marxist ideals of women, but otherwise it is totally applicable, easy to read and a total bonanza for thought.