Ruth Roth can’t help it. Only five years old, and she’s already sporting an up-yours attitude to a ‘yes, sir’ baby boomer society choking on moral purity. Growing up in an era of lookin’-good families, well-behaved, bobby-socked children, and little girls being groomed to be subordinate to men, Ruth stands out like dog’s balls.
Education and discipline fail to make a dent. Neither is a match for the driving force in Ruth’s psyche—the ancient goddess of obscenity! So, Ruth’s life plays out like a Greek tragicomedy.
Too much dark energy can eclipse even the feistiest, though. And Ruth’s harpylike mother is relentless, haranguing her 24/7: at home, in her nightmares, in her head and through her own eyes in the form of a bitchy mirror … Read more
A late bloomer-baby boomer, Paula Houseman hails from South Australia. With a colourful heritage conditioning her understanding of selfhood, she was drawn to the concept of identity, initially, as a graphic designer creating them for others through imagery. Then during a Bachelor of Arts program majoring in linguistics and sociology, she explored how word usage constructs our identities and realities.
Paula applied her findings to an essay on women’s subjectivity—winning her the 2007 UNSW United Association of Women Prize—and in her honours thesis, examining the archetypal significances in the words that configure our collectively authored cancer story.
Not so serious side:
Paula’s real passion is wordplay. Words were her favourite toys when she was little. And they still are. Nothing like a good double entendre as an up yours to moral purity, she says! It’s like playing in the mud again—reminding us what it was like to be real; reminding us that life is untidy. Paula’s book, Odyssey in a Teacup, pays homage to the glorious mess that is life (which gets even messier in the upcoming sequel).