Kavita Bedford and Jamie Marina Lau speak with Winnie Dunn about their new novels, which explore the relationships between identity and place, and constancy and change.
Gunk Baby, the inventive new novel from Stella Prize–shortlisted author Jamie, follows Leen, who has opened a healing studio in her local shopping centre where everything is shiny and perfect – on the surface. Taking aim at consumerism and class, orientalism and the Zen movement, violence and middle-class boredom, Gunk Baby is unforgettable. Journalist Kavita’s Friends & Dark Shapes follows a group of friends living together in Redfern, navigating life on the cusp of their 30s, with all its uncertainties and insecurities. This accomplished debut has been described by American novelist Jenny Offill as “full of razor-sharp observations about what it means to live precariously in a changing city”.
Kavita Bedford (Australian)
Kavita Bedford is an Australian-Indian writer with a background in journalism, anthropology and literature. She is the 2020/21 Westwords Writer in Residence at The Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, the Guardian and Griffith Review, and she was a recent Churchill Fellow exploring migrant narratives. Her first novel, Friends and Dark Shapes, will be published by Europa Editions (USA), Text Publishing (AUS) and Edizioni E/O (Italy) in 2021.
Jamie Marina Lau (Australian)
Jamie Marina Lau is a multidisciplinary artist and the author of Pink Mountain on Locust Island which was shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize and several other key literary awards. With explorations focusing on language, Jamie's work meditates on a landscape exploring dis-location of culture and space. Her second novel is Gunk Baby.
Winnie Dunn (Australian)
Winnie Dunn is a writer of Tongan descent from Mount Druitt. She is the General Manager of Sweatshop Literacy Movement and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Western Sydney University. Winnie’s work has been published in the Sydney Review of Books, The Saturday Paper, Griffith Review, Meanjin, SBS Voices, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Southerly and Cordite. She is the editor of several critically acclaimed anthologies, most notably Sweatshop Women, which is Australia’s first and only publication produced entirely by women of colour. Winnie is currently working on her debut novel as the recipient of a CAL Ignite grant.