Book of the Month May 2016: The Grass Was Always Browner

Trans-Tasman author Sacha Jones loves the wry quirkiness that is distinct to Australian humour. She has used it liberally throughout her memoir recounting her adolescence in Frenchs Forest, Sydney, when all she wanted was to be Russian and a ballerina, not a regular girl in an ordinary boring suburb with a fake forest.

In this interview, she talks to Jennifer Little at Massey University, University of New Zealand.author of The Grass Was Always Browner

Creative writing papers at Massey University helped Sacha Jones realise the numerous notebooks she had filled with stories of her improbable Sydney childhood, might become a book for publication.

The Grass Was Always Browner (Finch Publishing, Australia) – published in May – is a colourful, comic memoir about growing up in the seventies, the middle of three close-together children with two impractical, over-the-hill parents in northern Sydney.

Overcoming various challenges, including chronic asthma and being the wrong build for ballet, Jones goes on to become something of a ballet star, winning a host of scholarships and competitions to become a principal dancer in the Sydney City Ballet. She even dances the lead in Giselle at the Sydney Opera House. All the while her father disapproves, describing ballet as; “a selfish, frivolous pursuit, too focused on appearances.” He, by contrast, is trying to save the Third World by writing a book in economic theory.

Read the rest of the feature here.