“I will be a human, woman, mother, wife, daughter, sister, writer, speaker, human rights advocate and feminist… now I have laid my own truths bare… I am no longer a fictional woman.”
– Tara Moss, The Fictional Woman
Last month at the Sydney Writer’s Festival, Tara Moss launched her first non-fiction novel, The Fictional Woman. It is an incredibly honest and at times confronting blend of memoir and social analysis of the common fictions of girls and women today. The first step with this book is to sit and take in the striking front cover; it is a close up of Moss’ face with the fictions, or labels that she has accumulated throughout her life.
Dumb Blonde Bossy Wife Feminist Model Gold-Digger Mother Inspiration Party Girl Bleeding Heart Brainy Bitch
As you can see, some of the fictions are positive and meaningful where others are nasty and shallow and they are tags given to Moss without knowing her true character. Instead, they are a reflection of the perceptions of women, each laden with connotation and criticism… even the positive ones. Using her own experiences, Moss has created a conversation around the everyday issues of being a woman. She explores the power imbalance between males and females and the inequalities faced on a daily basis. Each topic is thoroughly researched and intelligently presented and I found myself nodding my head in agreement on every page. The discussion is focussed on the under-representation of women, the politics of motherhood, body image and the portrayal of women in politics, entertainment, advertising and the media. It is a breakdown of what feminism represents and regardless of your personal views and opinions, it leaves you with plenty to think about.
Moss has certainly walked many paths in her life. She has experienced some devastating lows and exceptional highs. She has seen both the best and worst of what life has to offer and is able to have an open and frank conversation about them in equal parts. She is the proud author of 10 novels, six of those in the Mak Vanderwall crime series and she’s had a successful career as a journalist, TV presenter and model. Moss’ passion for women’s rights has also led to an ambassadorial role for UNICEF. I found her to be both insightful and entertaining and I urge you to give this book a shot.
Thank you Tara, for challenging a topic that is not spoken of enough!