What we’re reading: Andrada & de Beauvoir

Each week we bring you a sample of the books we’re reading, the films we’re watching, the television shows we’re hooked on, or the music we’re loving.


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Angela Crocombe is reading The Inseparables by Simone de Beauvoir and That Weekend by Kara Thomas

I enjoyed Simone de Beauvoir’s The Inseparables this week. Based on de Beauvoir’s formative childhood friendship with a charismatic, highly religious young woman, it was a beautiful treatise on youthful female friendship. Written with great intensity, admiration and love for this young woman, I also recognised the cool, philosophical gaze that you would expect from one of the world’s foremost existentialists. It’s a slim volume that didn’t take me long, but it was a rich experience that will linger long in my mind with great beauty and sadness.

Eager for some escapism, I delved into Kara Thomas’ new YA thriller, That Weekend this week. It’s the story of three friends who go camping in the forest but only one returns, and she cannot remember anything that happened. The mystery propelled me along and it kept on twisting and turning towards a very satisfying, but entirely unexpected, conclusion. I loved it!


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Clare Millar is reading Take Care by Eunice Andrada

I’ve read a lot of poetry collections this year, mostly for review, so I appreciated the chance recently to catch up on some collections I didn’t have to review! I recently finished Take Care by Eunice Andrada, which is a stunning and arresting exploration of the ‘after’ of sexual assault. The collection situates rape as an act of violence within imperialism and colonisation, and I was particularly moved by Andrada’s analysis of history of The Philippines, giving voice and bearing witness to horrific acts of war. This is a heavy and rightfully angry collection of poems and I thought I might not have the headspace for it during lockdown, but I was enthralled - there’s something quite settling in Andrada’s measured offerings. It was liberating.

I wrote last year for Overland about how few Australian literary prizes included poetry collections, and I was arguing for the Stella Prize to include poetry. A few people I spoke to in the process pointed out that women of colour truly excel in poetry - which is of course part of a larger conversation about diversity in publishing and awards - and it was disheartening to see this go largely un-awarded. I’m so pleased that the 2022 Stella Prize will consider poetry collections, and that works like this will be eligible. In the meantime, it gives me great pleasure to recommend this collection!

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The Inseparable

The Inseparable

Simone de Beauvoir, Deborah Levy, Lauren Elkin, Sylvie le Bon de Beauvoir

$24.99Buy now

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