Empathetic, supportive and respectful…
Or competitive, manipulative and downright bitchy?
Or somewhere in between?
In Just Between Us, a host of Australia’s best-loved female writers bare all on this age-old quandary: Are female friendships all-natural and nurturing? Or are some more damaging than delightful? And most of all, what happens when female relationships go off the rails? And who is to blame? While falling in and out of romantic love is a well-documented experience, losing a friend rarely gets discussed. Which doesn’t mean the pain is less – quite the opposite, as we discover in this extraordinary collection of heartfelt fiction and non-fiction works that put female friendship in the spotlight.
Nikki Gemmell looks at the hardwiring that keeps us bonded in tightly knit packs, but makes us feel oh-so-claustrophic in mothers groups and at the school gate. Melina Marchetta reveals the peculiar shame of being overlooked for the high-status netball positions of Centre and Goal Attack. Liz Byrski conducts a forensic examination of her own friendship history, and finds some uncomfortable patterns. And Merridy Eastman pens a letter from Helena to Hermia from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which shines the light on one of literature’s most famously dysfunctional female friendships.
Maya Linden, Christie Nieman, Maggie Scott, Natalie Kon-Yu and Miriam Sved are Melbourne writers and academics. When they met in a writers group in Melbourne, they discovered they shared a dark secret: all had been dumped by a female friend at some point, and they all still carried the pain. Once they realised there was no book that examined these issues from a contemporary perspective, they decided to make their own.