Beer guzzling, barramundi fishing, and a bitter conflict between a native title group and a Japanese uranium mining company are the fuel for my second novel 'Red Can Origami'. It's a work in progress. Here's the story:
Red Can's told from the perspective of Ava, a young journo, with a smoky singing voice and a weakness for afternoon margaritas. She’s been working on an English-language newspaper in Tokyo, but after two years, she comes home to Australia and gets a job in Gubinge, a town in northern WA where there are many echoes of Japan …
At first, the pace seems a lot slower than in Tokyo, which is exactly what she’s yearning for. She reports on a child eaten by a crocodile at a popular fishing spot; she reports on a boat that overturns in the creek, leaving a couple clinging to the mangroves for their lives.
Then she learns about Gerro Blue, a uranium company half-owned by a Japanese multinational, which is operating out of Gubinge. The company has plans to mine on nearby Aboriginal land. They’ve allegedly bulldozed an Aboriginal massacre site. What unfolds in ‘Red Can Origami’ is a story of duress, of the unequal power relationship between a mining company and an Aboriginal community in northern Australia.
I was really lucky to land an 2017 Asialink residency, supported by the Department of Culture and the Arts WA, to travel to Youkobo Artspace in Tokyo to work on the book full time. The two-month residency allowed me to create real texture for the Japan-based sections of the book. I've still got a long way to go, but hope to be finished early next year!