THE HOOPLA LITERARY SOCIETY
“…in my spare time – between hangovers – I rant about the welfare state, library closures and poverty; like a shit Dickens or Orwell, but with tits.”
Caitlin Moran, on Moranthology
Caitlin Moran, via theguardian.co.uk.
One of the things I really love about writing this column is that I get to read lots of amazing books by women. There are so many talented creative writers, thought leaders, humourist, intellectuals, the list goes on and on.
On any topic, in any area of life, there is always a voice to make you stop and think about it just that little bit more. To me, The Hoopla Literary Society is a chance for us to come together and celebrate the diversity of women’s writing. When you read today’s column, I think you’ll see what I mean. Let’s to it!
The Burial by Courtney Collins
“If the dirt could speak, whose story would it tell? Would it favour the ones who have knelt upon it, whose fingers have split turning it over with their hands? Those who, in the evening, would collapse weeping and bleeding into it as if the dirt was their mother? Or would it favour those who seek to be far, far, from it, like birds screeching tearless through the sky?
“This must be the longing of the dirt, for the ones who are suspended in flight.
Down here I have come to know two things: birds fall down and dirt can wait. Eventually, teeth and skin and twists of bone will all be given up to it. And one day those who seek to be high up and far from it will find themselves planted like a gnarly root in its dark, tight soil. Just as I have.
“This must be the lesson from the dirt.”
It is 1921 and Jessie Bell aka Jessi Hunt aka Jessie Payne aka Jessie Henry is a woman on the run. Jessie has killed her violent husband, burnt down his house and buried his newborn child. As an ex convict, cattle and horse rustler and now a murderer Jessie knows that her only hope is to hide out somewhere high up in the mountains. With only her grey stallion Houdini for company and her resourcefulness to keep her alive, Jessie risks everything in order to stay one step ahead of those who soon ride hard after her, spurred on by the prospect a thousand pound bounty.
But also following her are two men with a different purpose; one her lover and one whose duty is to enforce the law, who both know that they must reach Jessie before her notoriety leads greedy men to do unspeakable things.
The Burial as such an accomplished first offering from Australian author, Courtney Collins. She approaches the subject matter of Jessie the female bushranger in a way that is completely devoid of all clichés.
Her writing is mesmerizing and compelling, drawing the reader deep into the psyche of this uncompromising character. This is a book that demands and deserves to be read in one sitting.
Moranthology by Caitlin Moran
Today sees the release of Moranthology, the first ever collection of Caitlin Moran’s controversial, clever and witty columns. From sex-club romps with Lady Gaga, crying on Paul McCartney’s guitar, getting drunk with Kylie Minogue, writing Amy Winehouse’s obituary, Twitter meltdowns, Downton Abbey obsessions, panic attacks, binge-drinking to turning up late to Downing Street for Gordon Brown.
It all adds up to prove why Moran is one of the UK’s most beloved Times columnists; critic of the year, interviewer of the year, AND bestselling author of the book that has become a must-have on every modern woman’s reading list, How to Be a Woman.
What’s really exciting is that Caitlin appeared in a global live-streamed broadcast from a sold-out talk at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London yesterday and for the next 48 hours only, you can see the full broadcast on her website here.
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