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Lui to curate new A&U imprint

Writer, actor and director Nakkiah Lui will curate a new imprint, Joan, at Allen & Unwin (A&U).

Named for Lui’s grandmother, the imprint will commission books across all genres, with its first titles expected in late 2021 or early 2022.

Lui, who is a Gamillaroi and Torres Strait Islander woman, said she wanted the imprint to help create space ‘for the voices that get pushed to the fringes, because when our most vulnerable follow their dreams, they create limitless dreams for the rest of us. Voices that challenge; exposing, critical voices. Voices that get formed in our community.’

She told the Sydney Morning Herald: ‘I have had the privilege of being able to work with a lot of different artists and voices and to meet people through my work, and I am always, especially now as I enter a different stage in my career, thinking how do you hold the door open for people? … How do you create that opportunity top down? How do you make sure that there is some type of systematic change? With Joan, what I would like to do is work within the traditional structures and have there be a mechanism, an imprint, a home for people whose voices can find a solidarity with what I have done and also find support there and not feel alone.’

A&U publisher Kelly Fagan said the value of Lui joining A&U was manifold: ‘Not only does she bring her network, her reputation, her imagination and her artistic lens, but the creation of her imprint, Joan, is a chance for A&U to explore new ways of publishing—new ways of doing publishing, new ways of thinking through the business of publishing, new ways of interrogating what publishing is, in 2020 Australia and beyond.’

‘The best publishing still depends on the individual judgement, experience and instinct of the person who finds the authors, who nurtures their writing, and who acquires their books,’ said A&U CEO Robert Gorman. ‘To have Nakkiah in this position opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for Australian publishing and for writers who deserve to be given a mainstream platform yet until now have not had the opportunity.’

Lui will also produce a biannual Joan newsletter covering projects she is working on, the kinds of books she is looking for and what she is reading, watching, hearing and writing. For more information see the Joan imprint page.


Category: Local news