My short story collection The Cuckoo's Song is 20 years in the making featuring my prize-winning and unpublished stories. It deals with themes that represent who I am. As I was parented by a mother who was a Bipolar sufferer I find myself coming back to themes that deal with mental health, especially within the context of Non-English-Speaking Communities as this places particular pressure on a sufferer and family due to stigma and lack of awareness.
Growing up I did not see myself represented in fiction and I write own voices stories exploring my Bosnian heritage and culture so that young people who have an ethnic cultural background feel validated in seeing their lives represented in fiction.
I love reading stories that explore the real life effects of being in a war and providing a slice of history. As a writer I love the process of immersing myself in real life research to write stories set during the Balkan War of 1992-1995 when Bosnia became an independent country.
Growing up raised by a single mother for most of my childhood, and then becoming a nuclear family when my mother married my stepfather, I am fascinated by the notions of family ties and family loyalty. I am also an advocate of LGBTQI rights and write characters who are part of this community.
'So devastatingly real' Maxine Beneba Clarke
I also wrote teaching notes for this collection with reading, research, analysis and writing activities.
Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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