Saturday, January 6, 2024

Desert Island Books: Monika Radojevic Welcome to Desert Island Books, a weekly series where I talk to authors, writers and journalists about the eight books they would take to a deserted island and why. This week my guest is Monika Radojevic, half Brazilian, half Montenegrin poet and writer. In 2019, she became one of the first winners of the stormzy Merky Books New Writers Award, which led to her first collection teeth in the back of my neck, which was published in 2021 with Penguin Random House. She is also working on her first collection of short stories. Monika works for the Women’s Equality Party, the only feminist political party in the UK. In her free time, she plays, writes, edits poetry and creative writing and directs Feminist Invoicing, a poetry project about the dynamics of power and what we owe to systems of oppression.

Monika also led a creative writing project called Feminist Settlement, a project in which people think about what is due to them and what they have lost due to patriarchy or other systems of oppression. The project is open to everyone and invites people to use a classic billing model to create creative reactions – and the reactions were awesome and cathartic. Some respond with poetry, others with art, others with audio or music, and some with fiction. Some of the” bills ” include a woman who charged the patriarchy a single bouquet of flowers, exhausted from attending vigils for expired women. Another calculated” shame and all her weapons ” for every dish she denied herself to meet narrow standards of beauty. A young man calculated a father for every moment of harmful masculinity, which he passed on to his son.

To find out more and to support the project, you can find them here. If you want to buy Monica’s debut album teeth in the back of my neck, you should consider this Bookshop.org – an online book sales platform designed specifically for independent bookstores. You can follow Monika on Instagram, here. Your body and other parties by Carmen Maria Machado I love Machado so much, you don’t get it. My agent immediately told me to read Machado’s work when I told him my ideas for my own short story collection (currently in progress!), and after reading it, I understood why. Machado is in a league of its own. Her work is phenomenal, lyrical and leaves you with your mouth open, and this collection of short stories delves directly into the subjugation of women in a fantastically creative. Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga My former editor recommended this book to me when I started researching not-found and execute Indigenous women in North America for my degree, and I think everyone needs to read it.

It tells the true story of seven teenagers from Thunder Bay, Ontario, whose preventable passed aways are not taken seriously, and reveals a much deeper story of the more costly consequences of colonialism and – in my opinion – the attempted genocide of First Nations and Native Americans. This is an aspect of British history that we all shamefully ignore, and this book puts this into perspective. The Authority of Chance by J. W Ironworker X is clearly a genius, because the way this book combines characters, stories and seemingly insignificant moments is just great. Coincidence Authority combines a scientist whose task is to prove that coincidences simply do not exist with a woman, orphaned three times (yes, I said three!), who predicts the exact day of his passed away based on the extraordinary things that have happened to him. The journey that she is leading is beautifully unpredictable.

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