NEW IN AUGUST 2012
NEW IN DECEMBER 2011
Love and Care: The glory box tradition of Coptic women in Australia Marty Grace and Enza Gandolfo
Love and care are key themes in a new book on the glory box tradition of Melbourne's Coptic women. The book has its origins in The Glory Box Project, a collaboration between Brimbank City Council’s Hunt Club Community Arts Centre, the Coptic Women’s Association and Victoria University, and funded by Arts Victoria.
The authors, Victoria University researchers Professor Marty Grace and Dr Enza Gandolfo, worked with the women during the project to understand their desire to maintain the glory box tradition. The book documents and communicates the women’s stories of their connection to the glory box and associated customs and rituals, to craft and craftmaking and to links between old traditions in their countries of origin and contemporary life in Australia.
The passing down of glory boxes – containing household linen, sheets, embroidery or crockery to young women in anticipation of marriage – has virtually disappeared in contemporary Australia. The book explores what lies behind the tradition, what the women believe will be lost with its passing, what maintaining and renewing it might contribute to their children and grandchildren’s lives. What became clear during the project was that it’s not the glory box as a material artefact they’re afraid of losing but what it symbolises: the love and care passed on from mothers to daughters and the cultural continuity associated with it.
Ten Coptic women are highlighted in the book with images of the craftwork they made during the project and their stories and ideas about the meaning of the glory box to them. ‘The glory box story is about love and I want the whole world to know,’ says Madonna Awad, the Coordinator of the Coptic Women’s Association and one of the women featured in the book.
‘For me,’ adds Magda Yassa, ‘the glory box says, I care for you. I did something especially for you. Not for everyone, but for you. I thought about what you like and I put it in the glory box…My caring. Love with care.’
Love and Care: The glory box tradition of Coptic women in Australia is a book about love between mothers and daughters, about the importance of tradition in maintaining cultural continuity especially for migrant women. It is also about passion, creativity and community.
IN NOVEMBER 2010
All Along the Watchtower
IN APRIL 2010
Tracks captivated teenagers when first released
in 1998, including reluctant male readers. It was short-listed
for a readers' choice award and optioned for a feature film.
The screenplay was created in 2002 and, although not produced
as a movie, inspired this newly rewritten version of the story.
Feral Tracks: the novel adapted from the screenplay
has transformed the travelogue style of the first publication
into a more tightly structured story format for a fresh readership.
We are supporting our publication of the novel with free a Study
Guide, downloadable here,
due to the story's popularity with Years 10 and 11 English classes
in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
first 2 chapters of Feral Tracks.
Voices from the Asia Pacific
Edited by Carolyn Noble, Mark Henrickson and In Young
$40.00 rrp 9780980665116
Flying With Paper Wings
Jeffs grows up in an Australian country town in the 1950s and
60s, domestic violence ripping her family to shreds. As a student
in the 1970s she comes to terms with her sexuality as part of
an alternative family. With the onset of schizophrenia at age
23 Sandy’s world falls apart. Flying with
Paper Wings offers privileged insights into madness
– medical, social, personal – as well as disturbing
reflections on its causes and its care. It is also a story of
how poetry can become a personal saviour in the face of nearly
biggest satisfaction I gained from reading this book was the
realisation that this is an exceptional record of someone
who is still gravely ill, and yet is able to surface over
and over again, with mind and humour still intact. It has
a depth which gives it strength. It has a warmth and honesty
that is refreshing.
it is Sandy’s insight into fighting the monster of psychosis
that makes this book valuable to the many people – too
many – in our society that have had to fight similar
demons. Whether Sandy’s voices will ever be stilled
is hard to say. She says of them: ‘It’s like a
war of words between us. I hope it will be me who has the
last word.’ With this book, that will outlive both her
and them, I believe she has.
Bruising: A Boxer's Story
here to buy
regard having someone try and hit me in the head as almost a
friendly gesture. In fact I have made some friends that way
and really only lost them when we stopped hitting each other.
here for a report on Mischa's successful 5-fight tour of the
by Bernie McCoy July 20, 2009
Merz on Bruising: a Boxer’s Story
is the story of Merz’s long love affair with the art of
boxing - from throwing and receiving her first punches - to
competing in an Australian amateur title fight and beyond. Boxing
opens her to new ideas about what it means to be a woman, it
tests her courage as well as her physical limitations and connects
her with others in unexpected ways. It provides her with the
thrilling and often hilarious background against which to examine
myths about feminine virtue and physical weakness.
which was short listed for the Dobbie Award in 2001, and this
latest edition is updated with new material based on a trip
to New York where Merz spent time training with the women at
one of America’s oldest and most famous boxing gyms.
Merz is a journalist and author of both fiction and non-fiction.
She has worked for newspapers and magazines for twenty years.
Bruising, originally published by Picador Australia, has been
reissued with updated material, by Vulgar Press. She lives in
Melbourne with her husband Peter.
here to buy
takes us deep into the illicit realities of female anger and
aggression, and then by way of the male stronghold of the
boxing gym into the ring . . . Merz makes her own body, discipline
and courage her subjects of experiment as she explores the
terrors and the exhilarations of the female capacity for violence
with startling honesty. You can almost smell the sweat.
Author of Tiger’s Eye
now and then a book comes along that invites you to shake
off your dusty old prejudices, and stop thinking along dichotomous
lines . . . it's a gripping read and a timely call to re-examine
both sanctioned and unsanctioned violence.
work fits comfortably within the stylish non-fiction popularised
by writers such as Dava Sobel, Helen Garner and Janet Malcolm.
Mary Rose Liverani
like writing that explores experience in a naked way. I
particularly like it when the writer uses words with the
fidelity of a harp string. This is a book about a young
woman with an intellectual orientation to life who takes
up boxing. I can honestly say I have never read anything
Gandolfo and Marty Grace
It keeps me sane: Women, craft, wellbeing
is has its origins in the The Everyday Creativity of Women Craftmakers,
a narrative research project exploring the roles and meanings
of craftmaking in women’s lives. This research aims to
document and communicate contemporary women’s stories
of their engagement with craftwork; and to explore the links
that women perceive between their engagement in craftmaking
and their wellbeing. The research was funded by Victoria University
and Spotlight Pty Ltd, a large Australian retailer of fabrics,
wool and craft supplies.
In the book
we explore the meaning of craft and craftmaking to women and
the key themes that have emerged from the research including:
creative and self expression, wellbeing, community and intergenerational
links and pleasure and passion for the craft itself. There are
15 individual women and one group highlighted in the book with
images of their craftwork and their stories and ideas about
the meaning of craft to them.