Short stories that will leave you pleasantly chilled

20 September 2016
Black Ice Matter

Fijian writer and Master of Creative Writing graduate Gina Cole has just released her first collection of short stories.

Black Ice Matter consists of thirteen short stories that revolve around the themes of heat and cold — literal, metaphorical and psychological. They range from the deadly impacts of military dictatorship in Fiji, to the relationship of two lesbian lovers, and a story of a child sweatshop worker who dreams of another life.

The collection is the result of being encouraged by her supervisor Selina Tusitala Marsh to stay true to her identity.

“I remember telling Selina that I didn’t want to be political in my writing, I just wanted to be a Fijian, lesbian, woman who writes,” Gina recounted.

“But she made me realise that I couldn't avoid being political, that at the very least I have a responsibility when writing to be aware of the intersection that I occupy.”

Gina is a family lawyer by profession, and Selina describes her as “a legalistic fiction writer — in the best of ways!”

“She brought her skills as a practicing lawyer to our MCW cohort in 2013. With a high work ethic, a commitment to research, editorial rigor and descriptive precision, Gina has produced a collection of nuanced, entertaining, and surprising short stories that examine her place in Aotearoa, Fijian ancestry, and queer voices.”

Glaciers feature prominently in the collection, and Gina even travelled to Fox Glacier as part of her research during the MCW.

She valued her time in the MCW programme, saying that it “gave me the academic structure, professional mentorship and creative support to enable me to complete a collection of short stories which led to my first published book."

And the resulting writing speaks for itself. Selina says that “Black Ice Matter, like icebergs in Polynesia, will leave you pleasantly chilled.”

Find out more about Black Ice Matter