Friday, June 10, 2011

30 Days of Books, Day 13.

First up, I'd like to point out the following:

  1. It is flipping freezing. While this is 15 degrees of freezing, I would like to state that for here, that's just plain unfair. We probably have a wind chill factor of about -472 degrees. (My father says that's a lie, but it certainly feels like it.) 
  2. I don't think I could survive in a snowstorm/blizzard/anywhere in the northern hemisphere where snow occurs.
  3. To make myself feel warm, I have adopted a pair of hobo gloves and am listening to Rick Astley. Which has morphed into the Beatles, then into Bloc Party. Sirius, you good thing you.
Onto the post!

[Your favourite author.]

There are so many. So very many. 
Neruda, as I've mentioned, probably tops the list. But I don't want another poet on here, and he cannot make a repeat appearance.
Everyone mentions JK Rowling on these lists, so I will not.
I'm going to write about my favourite author in many genres. She's my favourite in the Australian scene, and in the YA scene to boot. She does excellent work writing about teenagers in situations pretty similar to my own - that being, culture. When you're of a different cultural heritage, what do you do? It might seem an odd question, but believe you me, you're stuck. For me, I have the Chilean on one side, and the Australian on the other. I probably identify with each side equally, but it's not like I'm identifying with a modern Chile. It's an 80s version; a time-warp, if you will. 
So I've got the people who often say to me that my English skills are very good. "How long have you been over here for?" "I... was born here." "But you spoke Spanish first, right?" "No, I only began learning Spanish when I was 16." 
I had a teacher who told me that my 'Spanish speaking at home' would negatively affect my ability to write, as I would often feel a compulsion to mix up my word order. "I'm Italian," he said, kindly, "and I do it myself."
(And as my grandfather has influenced my vocabulary the most, I can say with all honesty I do do that.)
Yet then my Chilean family will refer to me as 'la chica blanca'. My cousin, Daniela - her nickname is Negra. Her father also calls me Blanca. Ice queen. Mocked Spanish. Straight hair, yellow-olive skin in winter and faintly tanned skin in summer. Big eyes, which my cousins don't have. But another girl who, too, had one Caucasian-Australian parent, and a Chilean parent, also had eyes like mine.
So I guess that's why I love her novels so much. They are just... relevant.

I should actually introduce her, shouldn't I?

Melina Marchetta.

She's a Sydney author, and because I placed a lot of emphasis on cultural heritage before, I'll mention hers. She's from Italian family, middle child, and lives in this country, which is probably the world's melting pot. 
When you live in a country that has a 40,000 year history but only has 230 years of western occupancy and you’re the daughter of a migrant whose family has only been in the country for sixty of those years, you are constantly trying to work out your place and where you belong.
As of writing this post, she has been given the CBCA award for Older Readers twice (in Australia, that's a darn excellent writing award to receive in the world of YA fiction). She has written 6 books, according to her website. Of these, I've read five. They're excellent, amazing, wonderful. She knows how to write a teenager very well. It could be her years teaching, but whatever it is, it's just - wow. That's a character.

It's very tempting to continue on to the next post in here, because it's so seamless and now I very much want to write about one of her novels.
Alas, I cannot. Tonight, perhaps.

Melina's website lives here, and according to Book Depository's US website (because it's looking like more and more US people read this blog) - when you load, Book Depository, no hurry - you can get her books. I recommend Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son out of hers. They... wow, just wow.

No comments:

Post a Comment