Last but not least, from the Australian Capital Territory, we have the talented Zoya Patel.
What are your literary pets?
I like to think my taste is teasingly varied. I’m a huge Virginia Woolf fan, and find myself returning to The Waves and A Room of One’s Own again and again. I also can’t go past fantasy by the likes of Robin Hobb, and still re-read Harry Potter two or three times a year. Lately, I’ve become obsessed with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and her novel Americanah is one I would recommend to anyone.
What are your favourite novellas?
I really love J M Coetzee’s Disgrace and Diary of a Bad Year. His prose is so elegant and arresting. I also love Vladimir Nabokov’s Mary, and was thoroughly immersed in last year’s Viva La Novella winner, Daniel David Wood’s Blood and Bone.
Why do you get up in the morning?
Usually because my cat is yowling next to the bed, demanding attention. But also because I’m forever restless, trying to find the next thing. I find that the best part of each day is the morning, when I make all the initial discoveries (emails, text messages, newspapers, the walk in to work) – the mystery keeps me getting up, I guess.
What else are you involved in?
I launched an online feminist lit/arts journal, Feminartsy earlier this year, and have been working away at that consistently outside my full-time job. Part of Feminartsy is a series of regular events hosted in Canberra each month, so I spend a lot of time pulling those together. I’m also a co-producer for an upcoming, soon-to-be-announced text festival in Canberra, and do a variety of one-off projects, like Jumble, which is an anthology of migrant memoirs told through recipes, published by rip.