Listening to the floorboards creak and groan in the venerable upstairs section at Gleebooks in Sydney, I went to the launch of a brand new novel from young writer Kirsten Krauth on Tuesday night. I had only just returned that day from Singapore, so was still a little dazed, but launches are important, and I wanted to lend my support.
|Walter Mason and author Kirsten Krauth|
Kirsten is a Castlemaine author, though in this novel, Just A Girl, much of the action takes place in the outskirts of Sydney.
It details the scary and anxiety-inducing life of a teenaged girl faced with all kinds of moral problems that have arisen since technology has met a much more ancient teenage angst and rebellion. The section that Kirsten read on the night captured perfectly the voice of a contrary and dangerously curious young woman, and this looks like being a most intriguing - and provocative - read.
The book was launched by my pal Emily Maguire, who gave a remarkable speech detailing not only the desolation and anxiety of her own teenage years, but also the continued social pressure that girls and young women experience. I also bumped into the famous novelist Sue Woolfe, who had been one of Kirsten's mentors (and whose blurb is on the front cover), and Julia Tsalis from the NSW Writers' Centre. One of Kirsten's other jobs is being editor of that Centre's truly excellent quarterly magazine, Newswrite.
It is increasingly tough to launch new fiction by Australian writers, and Kirsten Krauth and her publisher UWAP are to be congratulated for their creativity, energy and commitment. I look forward to reading Just a Girl in the next couple of days. Keep your eyes out, too, for an excellent guest post that Kirsten has written for this blog, which will be of immense interest to all budding writers.