Drama. Masquerade. Mischief.
A sharply observed, witty and confident novel. Linguistically playful, entertaining and provoking. In a bustling British city, Kulwant mischievously masquerades as a much older woman, using her walking stick like a Greek chorus, ‘…stick-leg-shuffle-leg-shuffle…’ encountering new adventures and getting bruised by the jagged edges of her life.
There’s the Punjabi punk who rescues her after a carefully calculated fall; Caroline, her gregarious friend from school days, who watched over her dizzy romance with ‘Michael the Archangel’, Maya the myopic who can’t see beyond her broken heart and Rani/Rosalind, who’s just killed a man …
Word Power - Girl Power.
Writing ‘A Wicked Old Woman’
A Wicked Old Woman, or A-WOW as it’s come to be called in my family, was my first novel, written while I was pregnant with my first child. Yes, I know! The analogies! My friends had fun teasing me about which one was going to be my ‘real’ baby. Well, truth be told, both were. I’ll always love A Wicked Old Woman for allowing me to call myself a writer, an artist; for affirming that perhaps I could string together a few sentences and thoughts, produce something that other people might find interesting.
Before A Wicked Old Woman was published, like many others, I’d call myself a ‘would-be writer,’ even though I’d already published non-fiction articles. A Wicked Old Woman, was called ‘brilliant and ground-breaking’ and was my graduation from that hesitation and reserve. So common to women.
As I was writing it, I was surprised by how much I loved language and also by how powerful language is. I’d always been a bookworm, always having a book-on-the-go, and diving into it wherever I happened to be, whether it was waiting at a bus stop, the hairdresser’s or a car journey. But being on the other side of the book cover, as it were, showed me the possibilities, the hidden power of language; that it can be used precisely and imaginatively, logically and creatively. Language is one of the greatest forces in the world, and through language we can accomplish our hopes and desires, lay claim to our dreams.
That’s how politicians, commentators, comedians, and Russell Brand, grab our attention, and transfer to us, their ideas, promises and philosophies. We become engaged, moved, passionate; we vote for them, we read them and we buy tickets for their shows. They all use language to succeed in the world.
We, women and girls – can do the same. We learn to speak from our earliest years, we imbibe language with our mother’s milk; we hear it while in the womb itself – so we shouldn’t be afraid to use it. We should lay stepping-stones and design our destiny with our words. We should love language and use it with the verve of Mhairi Black, youngest MP in parliament, the courage of Malala Yousafzai, and the humour of Sandy Toksvig. Perhaps even the wit of A Wicked Old Woman.
Labels: A Daily Life Blog, A Daydreamer's Thoughts, A Wicked Old Woman, Alasdair Stuart, Blog Tour, Diversity, Faye Rogers, Meghan Varner, Ravinder Randhawa, Reading, Shelly's Bookshelf