This Is My Story of Resilience by Uinise Tulikihakau

I came across this story on WCCC Stories of Resilience: Women of Tonga.

a nutshell: as part of a project to amplify rural women’s voices, Tulikihakau poignantly shares her experiences and feelings in the wake of Cyclone Gita

a line: “it really doesn’t matter if you are a woman or a man, what matters is the determination, commitment and belief that you can do whatever you set your heart on to do”

an image: despite the devastation of her home, Tulikihakau writes that she and her son were just happy to be back even if it meant sleeping among ruins

a thought: I couldn’t help but think Tulikihakau’s son is so fortunate to have her as his mother – her love for him come across powerfully, as well as her strength in ensuring he’s provided for, particularly since her husband’s death

a fact: among Tulikihakau’s side-work is the creation of leis (necklaces) for the Hawaiian market

want to read Tulikihakau’s Story of Resilience? visit here

Flotsam & Jetsam by Jully Makini

a nutshell: this is the third poetry collection from Solomon Islander poet, writer and women’s rights activist Jully Makini


a line: “Our minds meet in the air” [‘Messages by Moonlight’]

an image: in ‘On the Rocks’, Makini depicts her clothes as heavily waterlogged with custom and culture, pulling her to the rocks of divorce

a thought: the poet has used her writing to convey powerful messages about women’s rights to people in remote areas of Solomon Islands, including issues considered taboo such as violence against women and children

a fact: born in Gizo, Makini began a career in writing after attending the Solomon Island Women Writers’ Workshop in 1980

want to read Flotsam & Jetsam? visit here

The Madwoman of Serrano by Dina Salústio (tr. Jethro Soutar)

a nutshell: digging deep into what it is to be a woman, this is the mystical story of the Serranoans – villagers whose lives are rooted in the prophecies (or not?) of a marginalised madwoman

a line: “She understood that in Serrano women who were witches were happier than women who weren’t. Or less unhappy at least.”

an image: amid the passage about the Serrano cats’ fertility, the mention of their special cat huts (with five evenly distributed alcoves where they could sleep) is one of the many eccentric asides of this novel

a thought: as a lifelong fan of the magical realism genre and all its accompanying dreamy timelessness, Serrano was a treat – a place that could go dozens of decades without adding so much as a comma to its annals, as Salústio writes, and where history repeated itself to the loop of the sun & the moon

a fact: this is the first novel by a woman to be published in Cape Verde, and the first to be translated into English thanks to the ever wonderful English PEN’s PEN Translates programme

want to read The Madwoman of Serrano? visit here

My Walk to Equality: Essays, Stories & Poetry by Papua New Guinean Women – ed. Rashmii Amoah Bell

a nutshell: this eclectic anthology gives voice to diverse women from all corners of Papua New Guinean society, gathering their compelling thoughts and moving experiences under four themes: relationships, self-awareness, challenging gender roles, and legacy

a line: “The skies open up and let down a shower. It drowns out the sound giving the drummer more power . . . My sister, my sister did you feel the drum beat?” (an excerpt from Vanessa Gordon’s devastating poem ‘Drumbeat’)

an image: having grown up in a culture of misogyny and colourism, photographer Tania Basiou captures truly beautiful images following her decision that through her lens there’d be body positivity, femininity, empowerment and a celebration not only of being a woman, but also a Papua New Guinean woman

a thought: the intrinsic value of story-telling is highlighted by Theresa Meki, who recounts one of the tumbuna (old legend) stories that her mother, a Kafe woman from the Eastern Highlands, would tell her children to impart an understanding of justice and why one must respect women

a fact: this book’s publication was spurred on by the fact that Bell was the only women on the panel ‘PNG: A State of Writing’ at the 2016 Brisbane Writers Festival


want to read My Walk to Equality? visit here*

*Sorry for the Amazon link – it’s the only place I could access the book; please let me know if you find alternatives!