- Good Grief: IWD podcast with Tabitha Bird, Wendy Orr and Elizabeth Knox
- “We are a great group of salty women”: International Women’s Day panel includes Jennifer Iacopelli, Tabitha Bird and Hannah Capin
Today’s podcast celebrates International Women’s Day and can be found at the top of this post and on all good podcasting platforms.. Dark Matter Zine chooses to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements by interviewing 3 prominent women authors, Tabitha Bird, Wendy Orr and Elizabeth Knox. Furthermore, in their latest novels each of these authors wrote characters who are grieving and whose character arcs involve healing. After the past eighteen months a lot of people around the world are grieving, whether it’s grieving the loss of a loved one, grieving the loss of their home or livelihood, or grieving losses associated with lockdowns. It’s my hope that this podcast on good grief will inspire you to seek out the novels we are discussing today, to read them, discuss them with friends, family or counsellors, and to progress your healing journey.
I’ll quickly introduce each author before we start unpacking their novels and discussing their representations of grief.
Tabitha Bird is a writer and poet who lives and works in the rural township of Boonah, Queensland. By day Tabitha paints, works on her next book, and on her vibrant Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Tabitha says her hope is that through her words she might be blessed enough to champion others into wild acts of bravery and self-love. Her Chihuahua, husband, three sons and the fact that a book can be born out of the ashes of her past are all the reasons she needs to believe in magic.
She is the author of A Lifetime of Impossible Days and drum roll… Emporium of Imagination., coming soon!
Tabitha’s novel is about a magical store that, through inspiring good grief, helps people to heal and move on. My review is here.
Wendy Orr has a string of awards and accolades, including the Prime Minister’s Award for Children’s Literature. So far, Wendy Orr has written over 40 books for children, teenagers and adults and has been published in 29 languages. She appeared on some of the biggest conference stages. Wendy was the first Australian author to have a children’s book adapted for a Hollywood feature film: Nim’s Island, starring Jodie Foster. Jodie Foster was passionate about Nim’s Island because it turned her son into a reader. The sequel was also made into an Australian movie starring Bindi Irwin.
Wendy’s latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a Bronze Age novel in free verse and prose. Wendy believes every child deserves to find the books that fuel their passion for stories, encourage empathy and connection, and empower them for the future.
Wendy’s novel is a story about community faced with direst peril. In Cuckoo’s Flight, grief is a minor story thread. One of the characters, Clio, has a disability and grieves that she can’t do the things she used to whilst helping others. My review is here.
Elizabeth Knox, a New Zealand author, was an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2002. Then she became a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of her services to literature. Recently Elizabeth accepted an honorary doctorate in Literature from the Victoria University of Wellington.
Knox is an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate. The Prime Minister acknowledged her services to literature in various ways. Knox has a very very long list of other awards. She teaches World Building at Victoria University. And she lives in Wellington, New Zealand with her husband, Fergus Barrowman, and her son, Jack.
Elizabeth’s novel is an arcane thriller and yet the central character grieves for her sister, for libraries, for something she’s done. My review is here.