Crack Me Up: A Talk by Arts Journalist Gabriella Coslovich

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The JCU Department of English Language and Literature and the Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation welcomed writer and journalist Gabriella Coslovich for a lecture entitled “Crack Me Up” on Wednesday, January 22. Crack Me Up is the title of Coslovich’s latest book, an autobiographical collection of short scenes that explore the tensions related to gender expectations in Australian and Italian families. The author’s goal is to make women “laugh in the face of social expectations and the resisting stereotypes on choosing our paths.” Gabriella is a resident at the Australia Council for the Art’s BR Whiting Studio in Trastevere, Rome.

Gabriella Coslovich

Gabriella Coslovich

Gabriella Coslovich was born in Trieste, Italy, but grew up in Melbourne, Australia, where she moved with her parents in 1967. There, she earned a Master of Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. Gabriella has more than 20 years of experience in the field of journalism, having spent 15 years at the Australian daily newspaper The Age, and later working as a freelance journalist.

Whiteley on Trial (2017, Melbourne University Publishing), the non-fiction book that launched her career as a professional writer, won the Arts Journalism Award, the 2018 Walkley Mid-Year Awards, and the 2018 Davitt Award. The book is a reportage about Australia’s most audacious case of alleged art fraud, and it gave Gabriella Coslovich the possibility to pursue both her passion for writing and her career in journalism.

BR Whiting Studio in Trastevere
Gabriella’s real desire had always been to tell her personal story, her life between different cultures and her relationship with her mother. This is the main reason that she decided to ask for a residency at the Australia Council for the Art’s BR Whiting Studio in Trastevere, Rome. The residence was originally bequeathed to the Australian Council by Lorri Whiting, the wife of the writer B.R. ‘Bertie’ Whiting, to accommodate Australian poets. The BR Whiting Studio gives artists and writers the possibility to conduct their work in the heart of Rome.

Crack Me Up
The main purpose of the autobiographical book Crack Me Up is to explore “the ethics of autobiographical writing, the value of the personal narrative, how can one play and experiment with the idea of autobiography, and, the importance of women’s autobiographical writing in the 21st century.”

Crack Me Up also investigates the role of mothers in modern society. In her book, Gabriella Coslovich wants to reverse the misconception of motherhood as being the only way to fulfill women’s societal duties. In order to do so, she examines the complicated relationship with her mother and her own role as a woman without children.

During the event, Gabriella Coslovich read some passages from Crack Me Up, revealing its detailed exploration of the expectations that continue to mark women’s lives today, particularly wives and mothers.