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Too Much Lip: A Novel av Melissa Lucashenko
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Too Much Lip: A Novel (utgåvan 2020)

av Melissa Lucashenko (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1169181,558 (3.89)11
Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things - her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she's an inch away from the lockup, so she takes a Harley and heads south to Durrongo. Kerry's plan is to spend twenty-four hours, tops, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people. Old family wounds open as the Salters battle to stop the development of their beloved river. And the unexpected arrival on the scene of a good-looking dugai fella intent on loving her up only adds more trouble - but then trouble is Kerry's middle name.… (mer)
Medlem:Booklover217
Titel:Too Much Lip: A Novel
Författare:Melissa Lucashenko (Författare)
Info:HarperVia (2020), 336 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Too Much Lip av Melissa Lucashenko

Ingen/inga
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» Se även 11 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 9 (nästa | visa alla)
"Too much lip, her old problem from way back. And the older she got, the harder it seemed to get to swallow her opinions. The avalanche of bullshit in the world would drown her if she let it; the least she could do was raise her voice in anger."

Too Much Lip by Melissa Lucashenko was about Kerry, a black queer Aboriginal woman who comes home after many years because her grandfather is dying and she needs to help save their ancestral land. Kerry is not your typical protagonist. She lives life on her terms, rides a motorcycle and commits some crimes of survival along the way. She's considered the black sheep of the family because she has "too much lip". She's not afraid to take up space and use her voice.

This book was funny but also heartbreaking at the same time. The author tackled difficult topics in a lighthearted way. Each character was flawed, complex and redeemable. The pacing was perfect for when the secrets were finally revealed. I gained perspective about the Indigenous experience of the Goorie people and I can definitely see similarities in overarching themes relevant to the conversation of white supremacy and colonialism. There was also a cute romance that blossomed that did not take away from the core of the novel.

Themes that resonated with me were:

-Black and Indigenous people are not safe anywhere on the globe and police brutality continues to plague their communities at higher rates.

-Generational trauma from removal, genocide and forced assimilation continues to plague Indigenous communities. Alcoholism and mental health are a direct result.

-Sacred lands of Indigenous people continue to be a target of capitalism.

-Women continue to be oppressed by misogyny and patriarchy. When women do not confirm they face threat of violence or are given negative labels.

If you're a fan of wise cracking, swearing like a sailor, badass protagonist types, this one's for you. I'm sad I have to return it to the library because I loved this one. This was a great choice for book club because this one packs a punch and brings up lots of themes to explore for discussion. It will be hard for me to stop thinking about Kerry and her family.

Rating: 4.5 🔥 ( )
  Booklover217 | Apr 13, 2021 |
"For the straight world, crime was a problem or an abstraction, but for people like her, crime was the solution. Not that she called it crime: she called it reparations."

Grimly funny and vividly captured, Too Much Lip is also violent, hostile, filthy, and generally unpleasant - and Melissa Lucashenko's ability to portray all of these is what makes the novel so good.

Kerry, a thirtysomething from the city, returns to her family's small town with a backpack of questionably-earned money, bittersweet memories of an ex-girlfriend now behind bars, and outstanding warrants for possession and assaulting police. She's here for the funeral of her grandfather, and finds herself dragged back into the lives of her extended family. And, boy, are they a mess. Her mum's a moderately-functioning alcoholic, her nephew's an anorexic socially-isolated gamer, one of her brothers is navigating the family welfare system as he raises two troubled foster kids while her other brother is, well, a dangerous wreck. Tensions simmer - tension with each other, with their collective history, with the town around them, with their place in the broader country - and there's a constant sense of loss, felt most palpably through Kerry's older sister, missing for almost twenty years. And, on top of all of this, developers in league with the town's possibly corrupt mayor are planning to build on the Aboriginal ancestral lands of Kerry's people.

I would say things have been better for them, but the reality is they probably haven't been.

This novel is quintessentially Australian, although it's an Australia with which I have no familiarity. Every page rang true even as I turned away in horror at the idea that anyone could live like this. Lucashenko makes generous use of Australian working-class vernacular ("You chuck the snooze button on then. But I'll be back dreckly to haul ya skinny black mooya over there") as well as Indigenous terms local to her people, creating a vibrant spirit-of-place to which the reader must adapt as they go. She captures the heady mix of emotions that inform Kerry's life: freedom from having rejected much of the (heteronormative, Anglo) culture around her yet daily fear from living on the run and being a black woman in a world that often resents that fact. In lesser hands, this kind of "vernacular novel" can be easily tiring -indeed, for the first 10 pages, I thought it might be the case. This is very much "not my kind of book". And then Lucashenko's prose just took me in its grasp and refused to let go.

In many ways, Too Much Lip is a novel about violence. The author notes in the afterword that every act of violence in the book has an historical source, most from her own family, and the role of violence in the everyday lives of people - particularly Indigenous people - looms large. It's a truly shocking feeling, only about 15 pages into the novel, when Kerry is reunited with her brother Ken. He's her brother, and he lives with her mum, but she finds herself wondering how much he's had to drink and how honest she can be with him before he would start hitting her. Despite some shocking acts against one another, this family treats them as everyday occurrences. Frustrating, true, but mundane. And Lucashenko lets no-one off lightly. The violence is partly the fault of the individual: characters in the novel squabble over why children who face the same traumas can turn out so different. The violence is partly cultural: their Indigenous heritage is heavily gendered, too keen to let men off the hook for "being men", and too willing to forgive horrific crimes while rejecting those who try to expose such. But, of course, much of the violence is intergenerational and related to colonialism. The oppressive experience that the Salters face of being intensely policed - both literally and figuratively - for acts that would earn white people a reprimand, if that. I can't completely understand this experience, of course, but I imagine it feels like running a race only to realise that everyone else is sprinting ahead while your lane contains potholes, dangerous animals, and the occasional brick wall.

The remarkable thing, though, is that the book never once feels didactic. Much of what I have mentioned above is only glanced at, or discussed during late-night drinking sessions. Lucashenko doesn't need to preach because the facts of life speak for themselves. And her control over the proceedings is supreme. A clever twist halfway through the novel upends Kerry's view of the world, and the revelations that follow - which should be melodramatic or even a bit ridiculous - feel earnest and natural every step of the way.

If I were to quibble, one might argue that the good white guy and the bad white guy in the story are both one-dimensional, but I suspect that's part of the point. Lucashenko is turning the tables on the one-dimensional "token" black characters who have populated Australian stories over the past century - and, anyhow, I know a few Buckleys and a few Steves, so perhaps it's not weird after all. Perhaps I would have appreciated a glossary of Indigenous terms. Fair enough, the author is asking us to inhabit her space, and she doesn't - nor should she - feel compelled to write a book on white people's terms. Still, though, while I think white people like myself need to enter a lot more of these spaces on their terms, it wouldn't hurt to open the door a little wider in some circumstances.

I think any Australian should give this one a go (non-Australians might actually find this impenetrable, being so vernacular-based) and be prepared to leave one's preconceptions at the door. This novel will make you feel angry, perhaps guilty, perhaps personally attacked. But it's worth it. ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
Superb. Every Australian should read it. Especially us whitefellas! ( )
  PhilipJHunt | Jul 24, 2020 |
After Hamilton's first in this series, I was looking forward to the second. But, alas, there will be no third. The plot is just too convoluted and about 2/3rds into it, I realized that I just didn't care at all. On the up side, his books take place in Seattle and he's very good at keeping the store geographically placed. It was fun and interesting to know exactly where everyone was. He took two characters to one of my very favorite (and not very well known) restaurants and he described it perfectly. That much I enjoyed a lot and will miss when I pass on the next installments. ( )
  susandennis | Jun 5, 2020 |
I would not have chosen this book to read, but it was given to me and I am glad I read it. The language and events are raw and brutal, outside my comfort zone. The story centres around an Aboriginal family who's life is dominated by past events and which still impact on their daily lives. Kerry returns to the country town where she is from. Her grandfather is nearing death and her family are gathering to be together. Tension is high between the members, but they are united in one thing, and that is the hatred for the white man, particularly the corrupt Mayor of the town, who is negotiating to sell off the family's traditional land.
The issues dealt with in the story are many & gut wrenching, but Melissa Lucashenko has done a brilliant job of creating strong, not always likeable characters. The outcome of the story for me was satisfying, although some may not agree. I did feel personally saddened, left hoping that all Aborigines don't hold all white men in such contempt and hope they know that not all white men have a negative view of the Aborigine. ( )
  PriscillaM | Apr 29, 2020 |
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ISBN and review refer to Hard Cold Winter
by Glen Erik Hamilton
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Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things - her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she's an inch away from the lockup, so she takes a Harley and heads south to Durrongo. Kerry's plan is to spend twenty-four hours, tops, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people. Old family wounds open as the Salters battle to stop the development of their beloved river. And the unexpected arrival on the scene of a good-looking dugai fella intent on loving her up only adds more trouble - but then trouble is Kerry's middle name.

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