I would say that H.M. Naqvi knows a lot of words. He, or at least his protagonist Abdullah, would prefer I call him verbose. Or maybe not even that. What about bombastic, magniloquent, fustian? If you had to look up any of those then you would know how I felt reading Naqvi’s second novel, The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossack, a sprawling romp through Abdullah’s beloved city of Currachee, Pakistan. You would also realise that verbose and fustian don’t necessarily connote positive vibes. After all, one person’s flowery is another person’s windy. Say you’re the type of reader who wants a break from the vocabulary of your chosen field of study, and would rather not be confronted with footnotes in their leisure reading, the question then becomes, is it worth it?
Moomins are really having their day in the sun, and have been ever since Tove Jansson received her first letter from a business trying to trademark Little My for children’s period-training underpants. In Melbourne, you can buy random objects with their faces on them from Uniqlo, Miniso and every sort of artist’s market. Little My’s been the Twitter avi of the current Voiceworks Editor-in-Chief for as long as I can remember, and I have a turquoise portable phone charger with Moomintroll on a pogo stick on it.
Beveridge begins with a sunrise of colours that melt across the page, however the middle half of her collection felt gloomy and the divide between Wolf Notes and Storm and Honey was strong and jarring. But to watch her poems adapt and to feel a sense of accomplishment, that’s something I want to learn from.
As of December 2017, A Guinea Pig Romeo & Juliet was selling better on Amazon than the original version. All theory aside, people love Guinea Pig Classics. Arguably the best way to figure out why is to directly consult the consumers themselves. As I am not due to interact with any actual children in the week leading up to submitting this review, I read A Guinea Pig Romeo and Juliet to my friend after a few pints. “Omg little butt”, she says, and “soooooo worried, oh nooo”. I think she’s referring to the fact that all of the little guinea pig faces look generally really concerned and bug-eyed, which is objectively hilarious when they’re ALL WEARING HATS and framed with such captions as My only love sprung from my only hate! / Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Bloomsbury’s editor Xa Shaw Stewart says that this is the key to the series’ success: “Guinea pigs are just so funny—they are so earnest and serious. They always look a tiny bit worried. When you set an incredible text against a really worried little face, something magical happens.”
Ultimately, as an award-winning poet and lyricist with experience performing her work on the internationally stage, Andrada is no stranger to dissecting and distributing the personal to the audience. Although the book will likely be more poignant for anyone who has gone through similar experiences to Andrada, I would almost encourage you to read the book even more if you have nothing in common with her. Flood Damages is a perfect opportunity to see the world through a different pair of eyes, so you can compare it with, and reflect on your own reality.
When the world has constantly been exposed to the likes of Instagram poets, it can be incredibly difficult to find poignant writing that delivers something else, a level of almost distress, tinged with the encouragement to live out your life as best you can.
There really is nothing like the look and feel of a good book: you can smell the authenticity of each page, and feel the creases and textures in the paper. This love of books is the reason that Clunes Booktown Festival is now in its 11th year, and still going strong.