Launch at Tabor Adelaide
Rosanne Hawke's new young adult novel Marrying Ameera was launched at Tabor Adelaide on 5th August by poet Dr Ioana Petrescu. Over a hundred people crowded into the Tabor chapel for the event. Dr Juhani Tuovinen welcomed everyone and introduced Ioana Petrescu who thanked Rosanne for writing something so exciting she couldn't put it down, something that hasn't happened to her since childhood.
Rosanne showed images from Azad Kashmir where Marrying Ameera is set. Many of the images helped inspire the story. She first got the idea for Marrying Ameera in a flea infested taxi crossing the border into Azad Kashmir. The taxi was shared with friends from England who knew the man who directed the Forced Marriage Unit in Islamabad. This unit rescued 130 Pakistani-British brides from forced marriages in Pakistan in 2007. Rosanne explained how forced marriages were different from arranged marriages in that they were marriages where one or both of the young people didn't give their consent. And this is what happens to Ameera in Marrying Ameera. Her father sends her to Azad Kashmir to attend her cousin's wedding but it only takes Ameera a few days to realise the wedding is not her cousin's but her own!
Rosanne thanked the Tabor Humanities School for putting on the launch and all those who have supported her work. There was a question and answer time with Rosanne afterwards. The book has sold out its first print run and is expected to be re-printed by HarperCollins soon.
Ioana Petrescu is a Romanian-born Adelaide poet and academic who, since she came to Australia in 1996, has published two collections of poetry and over a hundred poems in Australian journals and overseas, has edited six books, has produced a poetry CD, and has supervised numerous creative writing projects at the University of South Australia. She is the Director of UniSA's Poetry and Poetics Centre.
Tahlia Williams interviewed Rosanne after the launch for her project as part of Rocket Kids. Paris Williams recorded the interview on her iPAd.