‘Meet Me at the Intersection’ is my new favourite thing. A bright, honest—sometimes devastating—book of short stories, poetry, and memoirs about our marginalised (First Nations, people of colour, LGBT+, and/or disabled) young people, written by marginalised Australian authors. Yeah, it’s aimed for young adult readers, but these stories should be read by everyone.
The book is a delight to read.
‘Night Feet’ by queer Aboriginal writer Ellen Van Neerven, who comes from the Yugambeh people, hooks you straight up with a perky story about a smart and talented young soccer player, Bella, solving problems and thinking fast on her feet (in more ways than one).
Olivia Muscat, who developed total blindness at age thirteen, gives us ‘Harry Potter and the Disappearing Pages’ a memoir which, unlike the pages in her title, is utterly revealing.
‘Dear Mate’ was my personal favourite, by Wongi writer Kyle Lynch: honest, earnest, and chockful of love. When I got to the line ‘feeling special’ I was a puddle of warm, disintegrated jelly left out in the sun. I would have read on for days, but the story was over too soon.
Jessica Walton, a bisexual/queer disabled writer from Melbourne, penned the sweetest, most innocent meet-cute you always wanted to read: between young amputee, Maisie, and non-binary teen, Ollie, at a Stars In Our Eyes convention. Their parents’ (probably platonic) meet-cute also felt like winning.
At its very heart: these are the lesser-known, untold stories we need. Many of the tales plonk us into ‘a day in the life’, whether fictional or real. The authors ask us to stop at their intersections, stay for a while, so we can listen and learn. I think it’s time we all did.