To celebrate International Women’s Day today, with its theme of inspiring change, we asked some of our authors to pick out inspirational female authors or characters from literature. Today Trudi-Ann Tierney tells us a tale about her favourite character.
I have only recently made the acquaintance of Jimm Juree, the feisty crime reporter and protagonist of Colin Cotterill’s hilarious crime fiction series, but geez I like the woman.
Jimm is inspiring because of her faults and because she unreservedly, and with incredible humour, embraces each and every one of them. In short, she makes me feel normal and a whole lot better about myself, and I can easily envisage us becoming best mates.
I can imagine us sitting on the desolate, polystyrene and plastic bag littered beach in the Gulf of Thailand that Jimm calls home – me sucking back a nasty chardonnay I’d picked up at the local 7-Eleven while Jimm guzzles down her cheap Chilean red wine – having a good girly gossip.
Jimm would agonise over the very bad sex she’d just had with an English writer, and I’d shamefully recount my three-day ‘tryst’ with a tuk-tuk driver young enough to be my son.
After a bottle apiece, our woeful ‘body issues’ would come out to play. Jimm would cup her tiny breasts in her hands and earnestly ask me whether she should try a push-up bra, and I’d lift my skirt, revealing my 48-year-old knees, as I honestly enquired whether I should ever again allow the sagging, old things out in public.
Two bottles into the soiree, we’d set about changing the world. Jimm would despair at the plight of the Burmese refugees in Thailand and I would tear up a little as I recounted tales of asylum seekers locked away in off-shore detention centres without a hope of ever making it into Australia.
Jimm would go on to rant about Government corruption in her homeland and I would proudly recall joining the yellow shirts on the streets of Bangkok in January as they attempted to shut down the nation’s capitol. But knowing Jimm, she’d be less than impressed. She’d tell me that I was being naive, even ignorant and that, knowing me, I was simply after ‘adventure’. I’d be offended, she’d be belligerent, and after a dreadfully slurred and heated debate around the issue, we’d kiss and make up before readily acknowledging that we were the most awesome chicks on the planet, and that the world would be a much better place if there were more women like us! Or maybe not.
Making Soapies in Kabul is Trudi-Ann Tierney’s hugely funny and nail-bitingly dramatic account of how she found herself working on Afghanistan’s best-loved soap.
Tying into the theme of Inspiring Change, television in Afghanistan is a very important tool for conveying positive messaging around important issues including women’s rights, health and education – so even a weekly soap opera had the ability to effect change simply through the themes that the show explored.
You can hear Trudi-Ann talk to Natasha Mitchell on ABC’s Life Matters about the challenges of Making Soapies in Kabul.