Rebellious Daughters

Rebellious Daughters

Rebellious Daughters

Good daughters hold their tongues, obey their elders and let their families determine their destiny. Rebellious Daughters are just the opposite.

In Rebellious Daughters, some of Australia's most talented female writers share intimate stories of rebellion and independence as they defy the expectations of parents and society to find their place in the world.

Powerful, funny and poignant, these true tales explore everything from getting into trouble in seedy nightclubs to lifelong family conflicts and marrying too young. Beautifully written, profoundly honest and always relatable, every story is a unique retelling that celebrates the rebellious daughter within us all.

Not every woman is a mother, grandmother, aunty or sister – but all women are daughters. Rebellious Daughters contributors: Jane Caro, Jamila Rizvi, Susan Wyndham, Rebecca Starford, Marion Halligan, Amra Pajalic, Jo Case, Leah Kaminsky, Michelle Law, Caroline Baum, Rochelle Siemienowicz, Nicola Redhouse, Krissy Kneen, Silvia Kwon and Eliza-Jane Henry-Jones.

Maria Katsonis is the author of the memoir The Good Greek Girl (Ventura Press, 2015) described by 774 ABC as a -stunning book' and -generous, intelligent and loving' by The Age. It will be published in the UK later this year. Her writing has also appeared in The Guardian, The Age and New Paradigm. A vocal mental health advocate, Maria is a beyondblue Ambassador and a consumer representative with Mental Health Australia. More at www.mariakatsonis.com.au

Lee Kofman is a Russian-born Israeli-Australian author of four books, writing teacher and mentor. Her most recent book is The Dangerous Bride: Memoir of Love, Gods & Geography (Melbourne University Press, 2014), which has been included in Recommended Books lists at 2014 (The Age and Australian Book Review) and 2015 (The Age). Her short works have been published widely in Australia, Scotland, UK, USA and Canada, and her blog on writing was a finalist for Best Australian Blogs 2014. More at www.leekofman.com.au

Rebellious Daughters
Ventura Press
Authors: Maria Katsonis and Lee Kofman
ISBN: 9781925183528
RRP: $32.99


Interview with Maria Katsonis

Question: What inspired Rebellious Daughters?

Maria Katsonis: Last year my memoir, The Good Greek Girl, was published. It's an account of my experience of mental illness and rebellion against a conservative Greek upbringing. I've formed my own path since my early teens, breaking away from conventions and expectations to assert my identity. My publisher (Ventura Press) was keen for a follow up book this year but I am a painfully slow writer and writing a book in twelve months just wasn't possible. I began to wonder whether there were any other writers who were rebellious daughters and how their experience of rebellion influenced their lives. So with the blessing of my publisher, I invited Lee to join me as co-editor and so the anthology was borne.


Question: What was it like to co-edit with Lee Kofman?

Maria Katsonis: Lee mentored me during the writing of my memoir and from that experience I knew we were simpatico in our approach to creative non-fiction. There were also similarities in our backgrounds as we both challenged the stereotype of a good girl from our respective cultures. The strength in our relationship stood us in good stead as we navigated the project, including the occasional rocky patch. We also share a passion for good food which featured prominently in our project meetings.


Question: How did you go about collating the stories of Rebellious Daughters?

Maria Katsonis: We cast the net widely to make sure the anthology included different voices and perspectives including Chinese, Greek, Korean, Australian, Indian, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, straight, gay, single, or married. Some writers rebelled in their younger years while for others their rebellious phase was later in life.


Question: Do you have a favourite story from Rebellious Daughters?

Maria Katsonis: This question warrants a diplomatic and tactful answer so I shall simply say all of them!


Question: What did you learn from this project?

Maria Katsonis: While I've had my own work edited, Rebellious Daughters is my first project on the other side of the editing fence and this was an entirely new experience. I also learned that while collaborating on a book requires give and take, it is also incredibly rewarding.


Question: What's next, for you?

Maria Katsonis: There's already been strong interest in Rebellious Daughters so the book events and festival circuit will be next. I will also start researching my next book, another non-fiction work with a streak of memoir.


Interview with Lee Kofman

Question: What inspired Rebellious Daughters?

Lee Kofma: Maria will be the best person to answer this question as it was her, excellent, idea. I can only say that Maria's suggestion for this anthology inspired me, because I've been a lifelong rebel in many ways, but especially when it comes to my family. My parents converted to Orthodox Judaism when I was seven years old. As to me, as much as I tried, I never managed to believe in God. So at age 14 I told my parents that if they don't send me to a secular school, I won't study at all. They knew me well enough to comply with my wishes, but since that first rebellion we've had many more clashes around our differences.


Question: What was it like to co-edit with Maria Katsonis?

Lee Kofma: This wasn't my first collaboration with Maria, as I also acted as her mentor while she was writing her memoir The Good Greek Girl. Already then I was highly impressed not only by her excellent writing, but also by her energy, self-discipline and how creative she was in her thinking. So when Maria invited me to co-edit this book with her, I jumped on the offer and it has been a great experience. We did have a few minor disagreements, as you'd expect in such a big, complex project, but we both have always been keen to talk about things in the open and this helped a lot. Overall, I enjoyed immensely co-editing with Maria: we had many stimulating conversations, and laughter too, along the way. When you think how much usually the writer's job is done in isolation, doing a project with Maria was a real treat.


Question: How did you go about collating the stories of Rebellious Daughters?

Lee Kofma: We wanted to make this book as diverse as possible, both in terms of demographics and voices of our contributors, and thematically. We also wanted to engage only those writers whose works we already were familiar with and loved. So all short memoirs in this anthology were commissioned, and my job was also to discuss with each author what they intended to write about, to ensure each added something fresh to this anthology.


Question: Do you have a favourite story from Rebellious Daughters?

Lee Kofma: Well, this is like asking a mother to name her favourite child… Even if I do, I won't tell.


Question: What did you learn from this project?

Lee Kofma: Maria and I divided up our editorial tasks. One of my main ones was doing the structural editing, and what I learned from this was that even the most accomplished authors sometimes need help, particularly when they write about such super-sensitive stuff as familial tensions. Then, as I ended up doing a fair bit of copyediting too, I also learned to tread lightly. Working with established authors is different from mentoring emerging writers, which is what I usually do, as the former tend to be averse to the slightest interference with their voice (and so they should!). Finally, I learned that collaboration on a book can be great fun.


Question: What's next, for you?

Lee Kofma: My work on this anthology coincided with the birth of my second child and so I had only two weeks off after Ollie was born. Now I feel quite exhausted and mostly busy finishing short pieces I have deadlines for. Once I finish all these bits and pieces and hopefully have a short break from writing, I'm hoping to begin a new book. I'm still figuring out, though, what it's going to be.


Interview by Brooke Hunter





MORE