Up, up and away | Book Club Reviews Michelle Law’s ‘Asian Girls Are Going Places’
While contemporary depictions of travel often focus on roughing it in the outdoors (think Bear Grylls in ‘Man Vs Wild’) or going on a three-tiered quest of self discovery (think Reese Witherspoon in ‘Wild’) it’s also a mainstay of South Asian diaspora culture. Sure, the trail mix and energy drinks get swapped out for tiffins full of sabji and chapati with a side of chai and the adventure sports are replaced by a leisurely after dinner walk or an ankle-level dip in the beach. But India alone is responsible for producing 2.5 million migrants a year and this figure is only increasing. While migration comes about for whole host of reasons, some of which leave people with few alternative options, travel at large is becoming a growing passtime of choice, whether with friends, family, or solo.
Michelle Law’s ‘Asian Girls Are Going Places’ is a self described as the perfect travel companion and it definitely delivers. Packed with tips and tricks for finding the best places, food, and experiences as well as anecdotes from the author herself, it’s a great conversation starter whether you’ve got travel on the horizon or not.
Michelle herself is an Asian Australian writer and is known for work on SBS comedy drama series “Homecoming Queens’. ‘Asian Girls are Going Places’ is part of a line of creative projects and it’s filled with trademark wit and humour that runs through her work.
Ever wondered what to pack on a 2,000km+ roadtrip from Perth to Uluru? How about how to keep kids entertained on Singapore’s Sentosa Island? What about what happens when your travel plans are upended by a geopolitical conflict? Our Book Club members brought their best and worst travel stories, and the things they learned along the way.
One member talked about a recent visit to Uluru and how getting there took more logistical manoeuvring than they first planned for. Seeing the living cultural landscape of Uluru and its neighbour Kata Tjuta can be a profound experience.
It’s one of the things that connected Book Club members; whether learning about practices that date back millennia or trying dishes that have fed people for generations, travel opens you up to new but tried and tested ways of doing things. Michelle herself fills her book with lessons learned from travels across the globe. So whether you’re visiting somewhere new or heading home for a while, ‘Asian Girls are Going Places’ is good company for the trip.
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Meet: Livleen Kathpal, a passionate member of the Australian South Asian Centre, a community of South Asian women and allies who are dedicated to creating positive change through entrepreneurship, creativity, and leadership.
28 Sep: Chronicling domestic violence in Australia | Book Club Reviews Manjula Datta O’Connor’s ‘Daughters of Durga’
It was in the early 2010’s that a series of domestic violence cases amongst South Asian Communities in Victoria gained traction in the media. Against the backdrop of a rising incidence and awareness of family violence, state and national communities grappled with this emerging profile of what was happening behind the closed doors of South Asian homes. This is where Manjula Datta O’Connor begins her novel, Daughters of Durga, but it isn’t where the story ends.
06 Sep: Turning personal diaries into page turning books I Book Club Reviews Nandita Chakraborty’s ‘Dirty Little Secrets: A Memoir’
In July we read Nandita Chakraborty’s ‘Dirty Little Secrets: A Memoir’ as part of our South Asian Women’s Book Club.
Through her book, Nandita builds a complex world of characters navigating their lives as authentically flawed, humanly inconsistent people. Her book is a generous insight into her writing process all the while giving the reader something to think about at every chapter. To learn about our discussions on the book and with Nandita, check out the full blog.