Jumaana is working on her debut novel, which was a finalist for the 2022 Ray Koppe/ASA Young Writer’s Fellowship. In 2022 she was a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter fellow. Her work has been published elsewhere in Kill Your Darlings, Overland and The Sydney Morning Herald. During the day, she is a junior medical doctor. In 2023 she was awarded the Dal Stivens Literary Award for ‘The Long Supper‘.
Killing the poets
GR OnlineWhen asked in an interview what he feared most during this war, Palestinian writer Khalil Abu Yahia responded, ‘I fear that I will die without achieving my dreams. I want to complete my PhD. I want to rebuild my family’s house… And [my] biggest dream – to meet my [international] friends in person, to shake hands, to hug them. It sounds very simple, but colonialism disconnects people from the rest of the world.’
To write, perchance to dream
In fiction, dreams are a useful tool. They are the writer’s divine intervention. Like the famous opening of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, they can reveal the past in eidetic detail. They can make the murmurs of the subconscious plain. Catherine Earnshaw dreams she leaves Heathcliff to enter heaven, only to begin weeping to come back to earth.
Undervalued and overlooked
GR OnlineWestern Sydney is home to half of Sydney’s population, and 10 per cent of the population nationwide. In other words, at least 10 per cent of the nation lives in a metropolitan area with almost no bookstores. But the real kicker is this: in Western Sydney, it’s almost impossible to buy books by authors who write from and about Western Sydney.
How can you write a novel without killing it?
GR OnlineOn this land that has, for many millennia, seen the flourishing of language upon language, and now finds itself home to a population of which almost 30 per cent were born overseas, translation is part of our national identity.
The long supper
FictionNadia herself was unremarkable. She spoke little and staked little claim. She ate in moderation (always in private). She exercised moderately (always indoors). Books were the exception; those, she binged.