Author(s): Zoya Patel
'I was born in a hospital in Suva, Fiji. I can't recall ever seeing the building on my trips back to the city, first as a child or later as an adult. I imagine it in shades of blue and brown, the plastic waiting room chairs covered in the fine film of moisture that creeps over everything there. It is not a place I've thought of often, but I think of it now and wonder how it has shaped me. I am Fijian-Indian, and have lived in Australia since I was three years old. Memories of my early life in Fiji are limited to flashes, like an old film projector running backwards. I remember a blue dress, a trip on a boat where my father handed me a dried, floating starfish that I clutched in my fingers, determined not to lose it back to the ocean.' No Country Woman is the story of never knowing where you belong. It's about not feeling represented in the media you consumed, not being connected to the culture of your forebears, not having the respect of your peers. It's about living in a multicultural society with a monocultural focus but being determined to be heard. It's about challenging society's need to define us and it's a rallying cry for the future. It's a memoir full of heart, fury and intelligence - and the book we need right now.