Backchat: Asymmetry and Saudade

Splice publishes new content on Mondays and Wednesdays, but throughout the week we bulk it out with bonus material on Facebook and Twitter. On Fridays, “Backchat” looks at the week that was and gathers up all the bonus material in one place.

Lisa Halliday, Asymmetry

Lisa Halliday, Asymmetry.
Granta Books. £14.99.
Buy direct from the publisher.

This week on Splice, we focused on two new books of transit, diaspora, dislocation. First up was Lisa Halliday’s Asymmetry, reviewed by Thea Hawlin on Monday, and we followed it with Suneeta Peres da Costa’s Saudade, reviewed by Anna MacDonald on Wednesday. We also offered some excerpts from these books, piecing together no less than four excerpts from Asymmetry published elsewhere and then spotlighting a new excerpt from Saudade courtesy of Giramondo Books.

You can round out your reading of Asymmetry by listening to an insightful interview with Lisa Halliday on the New York Times Book Review podcast, or by taking a look at her profile as one of the Guardian‘s “Faces of Fiction” for 2018. If you’re a subscriber to the Paris Review, Halliday has a story, ‘Stump Louie’, available on the website.

Suneeta Peres da Costa, Saudade

Suneeta Peres da Costa, Saudade.
Giramondo Publishing. $19.95.
Buy direct from the publisher.

Suneeta Peres da Costa has a wealth of material online. A good place to start is her participation in a discussion on ABC Radio National from 2016; the topic, broadly, was writing about place, and, more specifically, writing about Sydney. It followed the publication of Peres da Costa’s beautiful essay on Sydney which appeared in the Sydney Review of Books.

The SRB has also previously featured a piece by Peres da Costa on her reassessment of Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, and on YouTube you can find footage of Peres da Costa in another discussion on writing about place — about Goa, and about the Goan diaspora. If you’d like a taste of her prose beyond the excerpt from Saudade, she published a couple of prose poems in Mascara in 2012, and a couple of others in the Goan literary journal Joao-Roque earlier this year. And lastly — in a particularly unsettling piece of work — Peres da Costa wrote an article for JJ Books in response to drawings by children locked up in the detention centre on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea.

A reminder: if you’re in Sydney this weekend, Giramondo will be launching Saudade at Gleebooks in Glebe (49 Glebe Point Road) at 3.30pm. If you’re interested in attending, you can RSVP at the Gleebooks website.

That’s all for this week! Next week we’ll be bringing you a two-part interview with Dana Diehl. Dana is the author of Our Dreams Might Align, forthcoming from Splice, and she’ll be talking about her work, her process, her inspirations. Follow Splice on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with everything as it unfolds…