Dif­fer­ent take on gen­der roles

Shepparton News - - LIFESTYLE -

Au­thor Alex Dunkin’s lat­est book Home­body ex­plores gen­der roles in a world where ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is the norm. This is the Ade­laide-based writer’s sec­ond book in the past two years and orig­i­nally started as a re­search piece fo­cused on his­toric nov­els such as Lady Chat­ter­ley’s Lover.

Mr Dunkin said it was in­ter­est­ing to cre­ate a world where ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity was nor­mal and het­ero­sex­u­al­ity was not as com­mon.

“The re­moval of mod­ern-day chal­lenges to LGBTI peo­ple posed by he tero norma t iv ity cre­ates space to ex­plore the ideas of what ex­actly tra­di­tion means when pre­sented away from our so­cial norms,” he said.

Home­body is fo­cused on Aaron who is a homemaker but finds that mar­riage to his hus­band David is be­gin­ning to dis­in­te­grate.

Aaron be­gins to look out­side his home at the world around him and dis­cov­ers what it is like to not be in the po­si­tion of homemaker.

But he must make a choice, whether he will con­tinue his new-found free­dom or go back to his role as de­voted hus­band.

Home­body was il­lus­trated by Ade­laide­based artist Dy­lan Pimm and was re­cently re­leased as a self-pub­lished novel. Mr Dunkin’s first novel Com­ing Out

Catholic was pub­lished by Primz last year and fol­lowed the story of a young man who sought to rec­on­cile his faith and his sex­u­al­ity.

Mr Dunkin said writ­ing Home­body was slightly more chal­leng­ing than Com­ing

Out Catholic be­cause it was not only hard to come up with a new idea but it was dif­fi­cult to work with­out a pub­lisher.

“I had to learn about all the pro­cesses that hap­pened be­hind the scenes,” he said.

“(But) af­ter the first book was re­leased I sud­denly had a new ea­ger­ness to pro­duce a new work.”

Mr Dunkin said he gained a lot of in­spi­ra­tion for Home­body by just speak­ing to peo­ple and dif­fer­ent artists.

“I’ve been quite lucky to have artists around me,” he said.

“I’ve al­ways worked at hav­ing a ca­reer as a writer in some ca­pac­ity and I really en­joy the re­search com­po­nent that’s re­quired for nov­els.”

Mr Dunkin said when it came to writ­ing it was im­por­tant to sur­round your­self with peo­ple who were not afraid to pro­vide you with crit­i­cal feed­back.

Alex Dunkin hold­ing his lat­est book Home­body. Week­end Life has two copies of Home­body and two copies of Com­ing Out Catholic to give away. To en­ter, email the code word OUT to week­endlife@shep­p­news.com.au as well as your name, ad­dress and day­time phone...

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