A blog that discusses literature for young people.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Melbourne Writer's Festival - "What's so Funny?"

10 am session
“What’s so Funny?” – Randa Abdel Fattah, Margaret Clark and Morris Gleitzman

Randa Abdel Fattah is a young lawyer, turned author. Does my Head Look Big in This? is her first novel. Aimed at a teenage audience, Fattah uses the book as a vehicle for talking about what is was like to grown up as a Muslim in Australia. She uses humour to defuse highly charged emotional situations in the story. A good speaker – would appeal to a young female audience.

Margaret Clark began by reading out ‘agony aunt’ style letters supposedly from her young readers. She got great laughs from the young audience with her talk of boobs, balls and pubic hair. She explained that she gets ideas for funny stories by combining things like puss, pimples, puke and piss with the question ‘What if?” A prolific author and great public speaker – appeals to a young audience (boys & girls) probably around the 10-12 age group.

Morris Gleitzman spoke very briefly. He appeared unprepared but did warm up a little as he continued. He called on audience participation by starting off a fairly regular story and then asking for suggestions for a funny twist. He followed on in Margaret Clark’s theme of taking a regular occurrence and then making something unexpected happen.


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