Belly laughs as Kerrie entertains
With readings from each of her four books interspersed with questions from the crowd and quirky anecdotes, the Melbourne-born, belly-dancing author entertained her avid readers.
Much of Kerrie Noor’s earthy humour is centred on her great love – belly dancing – and its influence is felt all over her original book series, the first of which is entitled Sheryl’s Last Stand.
The central character in this book is more than simply a member of a local travelling Scottish belly dancers’ group. Sheryl is a Lochgilphead woman – middle-aged, celibate without choice and with plummeting self-confidence and a loathing for her body shape. Belly dancing appears to let Sheryl, and Kerrie, rediscover a love of their own body.
‘You’re using parts of your body, probably out of commission for a while, like the pelvis and it makes a part of the body, you’re maybe not keen on, sexy.’
The female characters in the book get up to what loud ladies in a small town would enjoy; gossip and drama.
‘There is an element of bitchiness about it, which I exaggerated in the book. Or maybe it was just me that was bitching.’
But two books later in the series, Kerrie is changing direction. Her new book, Rebel Without A Clue, is a sci-fi dystopian novel about a male alien from a female-dominated planet landing in Glasgow.
‘There’s actually not a lot of sex in my books,’ says Kerrie. ‘Except maybe nobody having any.’
The story starts out as a reversal of The Handmaid’s Tale, with women of this planet no longer needing men to reproduce and evolves, through a plot described as ‘mad’, into an outsider’s perspective of Glasgow.
‘The male alien Legless goes down to earth and goes around fertilising all these women, and doesn’t understand this world where he’s in charge.
‘Most of the time I was the only woman living in a culture different from my own. I began to see stories in outsiders.’
Being an Australian in Scotland – and on top of that marrying into a Bangladeshi family – would give that outlook, of everything being familiar but just off a little.
The language is the same, with the accents different. The rural community is the same, only with less terrifying monsters to deal with in Argyll. This is the outlook Legless finds himself in as a dominated man in a world of dominant men.
Such an off-the-wall plot with no clear message makes the book an ink blot test - you take what you’re looking for from it. Maybe you even see something else with another look.
Kerrie explained: ‘Originally I wanted it to be all humour. I suppose I’m driven about power and control and it’s really fascinating when you start to think about it because people dominate in quite small ways.’
So maybe the point was to gain the women’s perspective for men to relate to?
Kerrie is currently working on her fifth book, the sequel to her dystopian sci-fi named Rebel Without A Bra, and she will keep belly dancing around Lochgilphead.
‘At the beginning you just write, and you just open up your mind and stuff comes out and you’ll find that all this stuff comes out that you didn’t realise you were thinking about. It’s amazing. You actually discover so much about yourself.’
Author and Ardrishaig resident Kerrie Noor entertained a library full of book lovers on Wednesday June 20.