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The Learning Curves of Vanessa Partridge


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About the Author

Clare Strahan is a Melbourne writer who once rattled out a novel on a manual typewriter by candlelight. Her debut young adult novel, Cracked was shortlisted for the 2015 Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. She managed the fiction reading team at Overland journal for several years, was a peer selection panellist for Varuna, the National Writers House 2014-2016 and teaches creative writing for the PWE Associate Degree at RMIT. She is the creator of the Literary Rats cartoon and flutters about the twittersphere as @9fragments.


"With an absent mother, and a distant, potentially evil father, Vanessa does her best to grapple alone with understanding desire, consent, rape culture, sexual assault, and 'doing the right thing'. This is smart, wickedly funny, and painfully relatable teenage fiction that explores heavy topics with honesty and humour. Vanessa is a wonderful protagonist, and invites the reader to sit with all too familiar teenage discomfort, awkwardness and angst. Vanessa's life is bog-standard teenage chaos, but she's got a lot of heart and grit to get herself through. Amazingly, amidst all the drama Vanessa never seems to forget to do her cello practice either. Expect laughter, and more laughter again. It will be a definite hit with those who love contemporary YA." --Readings
"A book that speaks directly to the concerns of older teenage girls. It is a story that prioritises self-care and assertiveness over politeness and likeability, that bucks the historic trend of averting the gaze of teen readers away from female pleasure and instead encourages readers (girls and boys) to acknowledge the realities of female bodies. Strahan tackles questions of desire, consent, autonomy and authority head-on via her cast of intensely relatable characters. . . . It is a book that may change lives at exactly the right moment. It is a book that says to young women (and men), that respect is not based on how you dress, consent is not a one-way street, and that women's voices are important
--and we should take care to listen." --Books + Publishing

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