Unlikely love story speaks out against violence

Murakami a master of surreal

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles By Haruki Murakami Review by Dana Hamblin Toru Okada’s days are spent performing mundane tasks in a vague and unfulfilling way. When suddenly his cat disappears, and then later his wife unexpectedly leaves him, his predictable world is shaken up and he finds himself meeting bizarre and unusual characters. Strange, sexually charged phone calls, psychic sisters and jaunts to mysterious hotel rooms are just some of the unusual happenings in Mr Okada’s peculiar new life. Murakami is a master at telling tales of the surreal and his polished aesthetic is truly a gift to read. He deals with the cruelties of war, the loss of love and the interconnectedness of life in a subtle manner that reverberates through your mind long after you have finished the last page. Dana recommends: 1. The New York Trilogy, Paul Auster 2. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer 3. Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem 4. Carpenteria, Alexis Wright 5. A Wild Sheep Chase, Haruki Murakami
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By Ashlee Betteridge

Joanne Fedler’s latest novel writing venture began by jotting down a single sentence. “There are not many useful things you can say to a woman whose sister has just been stabbed to death with a pair of scissors.” Once the Coogee author started writing about her experiences of working in a women’s crisis centre in South Africa, she found she couldn’t stop. These real life stories became part of Things Without a Name, a fictional love tale set in the world of rape and domestic violence counselling. Joanne, who has published both fiction and non-fiction works previously, said writing the book brought back her memories of working day to day to help victims of abuse. “It was horrible. I used to think it was such a noble thing to do but it was such a soul destroying job, there were never really any success stories,” Joanne said. “When women came to you, they had already been raped or abused and if they were going to court, you

Coogee author Joanne Fedler’s new book ‘Things Without a Name’ is a hope-filled love story set in the unlikely environment of a women’s rape and violence crisis centre.

had to prepare them for a terrible cross examination,” she said. It was a challenge to keep light and shade in a book dealing with such serious issues, she said.

“I was trying to write about this topic that is so uncomfortable, but to combine it with the thing that everyone wants to talk about, which is love,” Joanne said. “Ultimately my aim was to write a hopeful story set in this terrible world.” Joanne said she hopes the book will raise awareness of the plight faced by women who suffer domestic and sexual assault. The book was launched in June at Maroubra’s Bowen Library with the support of Randwick Council. Joanne said it was exciting to hold the launch locally. “I invited everyone from Coogee, my barista, everyone . . . it’s amazing how much your community can rally around you.” She is now working on a number of new projects, including a humorous non-fiction book about the similarities between emigrating and trying to lose weight and a book for young adults. Things Without a Name is currently available in bookstores. For more information on Joanne’s work, visit www.joannefedler.com.