Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ShameJoy - a collection of smart, darkly comic short stories from new Wellington publisher

ShameJoy is a collection of smart, darkly comic short stories about pop psychology, pop music, politics and Germans by Julie Hill, published by new Wellington publisher Giant Sparrow Press.

Julie is a playwright, journalist, screenwriter and Germanophile, whose plays include ‘Stories Told To Me By Girls’ and ‘Whistle Solo’, and whose documentary ‘Broke But Sexy’ has screened around New Zealand and on Maori TV. Julie also makes documentaries about music for Radio New Zealand.

ShameJoy's motley crew of characters include O’Gradient, who wants to lose one of her legs; Maus, who ends the Cold War; and Caramel, whose dead uncle starts a horrific war between New Zealand and Australia.

Several of the stories in ShameJoy have been remoulded into plays and Julie has performed some of the collection in Berlin, where she lived on and off for several years.

ShameJoy is the first publication from Wellington publisher, Giant Sparrow Press, managed by Clare Needham, who co-edits the national literary magazine JAAM.
Says Clare, “JAAM showcases new, New Zealand writing, especially work that is edgy and fresh like Julie’s. Giant Sparrow Press is an extension of that approach.”

“I love Julie’s characters.” Clare continues. “They are unique and often a bit nutty. You sympathise with them, even when you see them making dreadful mistakes or getting themselves into situations you hope you never would, yet secretly suspect you might.”

“Julie’s writing is sharp and it’s dark, but it’s also very funny. While some shocking things happen in her stories, you find yourself smiling – even when you know you shouldn’t. It’s there in the title, ShameJoy is a translation of schaudenfreude, the German word for taking pleasure in misfortune.”

ShameJoy is available from good bookshops 

ISBN: 978-0-473-28406-0. Format: Paperback, 130 pages. RRP: $24.95.

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