At E-Tangata – Michalia Arathimos on our gated writing literary community and her new book

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full piece here

 

In the story of the Trojan Horse, after a ten-year siege, the Greeks pretend to sail away and leave a “gift” of a wooden horse on the doorstep of the city of Troy. The Trojans pull the horse into their city. But, under the cover of night, a select force of men creep out of it, torching the city, and thus winning the war for the Greeks.

I am a Greek-New Zealand writer and I am building a horse like this — or, more accurately, I’m allowing it to build itself.

But, in this story, the Trojan Horse is a non-fiction book that I’m writing about the media in Aotearoa — and the warriors are writers. Māori writers, Pasifika writers, French and Chinese and “other” writers. Any writers that haven’t been identified by the press as part of a Pākehā mainstream.

And the city of Troy is Pākehā culture, which I envisage in this book as a walled fortress. In front of this fortress, the horse is taking shape. There are voices clamouring inside it, about to be let out.

The voices belong to some of Aotearoa’s foremost writers: Tusiata Avia, Tina Makereti, Chris Tse, Paula Morris, and Karlo Mila, among many others, who I’ve interviewed for my upcoming book, The Outliers: Who do we want to be?

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