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The Images on Dust Jackets

I had to read Swallow the Air last week. One of the students is studying it for the HSC, and I'd never come across it before, so there I was, reading a book published by the UQP, and with a bit of buzz around it. A pretty slim book, it tells the story of May, a half Aboriginal girl who grows up in the housing commissions in Woolongong, raised by an alcoholic aunt with her brother after her mother's suicide. It's a fairly unstructured book--the chapters could be nothing more than short stories interlinked to a larger, if they resonated a little stronger with each other, but the book itself could have been a lot stronger if Tara June Winch, the author, had simply taken a lot of her moments and allowed them time to develop. Either way: some folk liked it, but it just kinda passed me by as fairly uninteresting and shallow.

What I found interesting, however, was the pictures of Tara June Winch, who is of Aboriginal, Afghan and English heritage.

Here's the picture on the back of the book:

Here's her picture on her wikipedia page:

And here's a picture of her, in colour:

There's a few more pictures here at the Rolex Mentor page, where she's been hanging with Wole Soyinka.


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Nov. 15th, 2010 05:33 am (UTC)
Are those first two the same woman? At all? I am struggling to see it.
Nov. 15th, 2010 07:29 am (UTC)
Yup. There's a bit of age difference between the two shots, but it's the same person. I'd wager you're struggling because she's covering her distinctive chin-line with her hands in the first photo, and wearing make-up which is defining her eyebrows differently in the second.
Nov. 15th, 2010 09:01 am (UTC)
yeah, they are. if you look at the nose and the smile of the first two together, you can see it.
Nov. 15th, 2010 06:14 am (UTC)
What exactly about the dust jacket images do you find interesting?
Nov. 15th, 2010 08:59 am (UTC)
i find the first one interesting because it's been specifically shot to make her look more aboriginal. the book is packaged as being an indigenous book, and sells its authenticity on the look of the author, and viewed through that light, i find the image, especially when placed against the second two, quite fascinating.
Nov. 15th, 2010 06:14 am (UTC)
Are you in love, Mr Peek?
Nov. 15th, 2010 09:00 am (UTC)
read the book, man. then you tell me.
Nov. 15th, 2010 10:11 am (UTC)
or is this along the same lines as 26L/1T?
Nov. 15th, 2010 10:30 am (UTC)
yeah, similar. i'm not saying she's fake or anything--my post was just about how the photo presented her as more aboriginal for the authenticity of it.
Nov. 15th, 2010 07:37 am (UTC)
She looks much younger, and much more recognizably aboriginal in the first picture... selling authenticity?
Nov. 15th, 2010 09:00 am (UTC)
that was my take.
Nov. 15th, 2010 10:23 am (UTC)
I figured that would be the angle you came at it from.

So, the next question is: how will they pose her if she writes a story from an Afghan POV?

Nov. 15th, 2010 10:29 am (UTC)
afghan clothing i suspect would be the way to go, though perhaps not. i have to admit, i wonder what the response would have been if they'd put a colour photo on that book...
Nov. 15th, 2010 10:31 am (UTC)
I was thinking maybe a subtle headscarf... not obviously hijabi, but, y'know, respectful.
Nov. 15th, 2010 10:55 am (UTC)
maybe with some henna tattoos?
Nov. 15th, 2010 11:46 am (UTC)
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