Balancing Acts: Women in Sport (ed by Justin Wolfers & Erin Riley, Brow Books)
Amid the growing conversations surrounding the under-representation of women in sport in Australia, Balancing Acts deepens and personalises these discussions with more than 20 essays by a diverse range of writers, athletes, journalists and fans. These essays are generally of a personal nature, drawing on the experiences of those often marginalised to form a ruminative and complex account of women in Australian sporting spaces. The format allows the writers to explore the complexity of these debates while still maintaining a highly accessible framework for readers. Stories of complicated dynamics between coach and athlete, homophobia on and off the field, fraught personal relationships to bodies, team camaraderie and intensely felt fandom are intimate and engrossing, and surprising parallels appear between the accounts in the book. The writing is analytical but also motivational. Female sports players may find the personal tone of this book inspirational and useful for navigating their own experiences on and off the field. However, Balancing Acts is also a useful resource for those interested in broader critical analyses of gender and Australian identity.
Holly Anderson is a bookseller and freelance reviewer