Meet Me at the Intersection is a rich short story anthology written by a diverse range of Australian authors and lovingly edited by Rebecca Lim and Ambelin Kwaymullina. The anthology aims to showcase the experiences of marginalised groups through “own voice” stories, whose authors fit into those groups.
The first thing about the anthology that the reader will notice is the beautiful cover art, designed by Kwaymullina. It communicates the central message of the anthology, which is that while every person’s experiences are unique, the experiences of marginalised groups intersect in many ways. It’s a reminder that no matter how different we may be, there is always some common ground.
The anthology is divided into four categories, though the introduction acknowledges all of the experiences within don’t fit neatly into each group. The book begins with stories from First Nation people, then people living with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people, and finally, people of colour who connect with migrant experiences.
Taking any one of these stories shows how much these identities interact with each other. Mimi Lee’s story, ‘Fragments’, ties in the effects that culture and family have on mental health, while Jordi Kerr’s fantastical ‘Sheer Fortune’ gives an analogy for being queer while living with a chronic illness. The beauty of these stories is that no matter how specific the themes are, someone out there will relate to them, and they are important to help readers understand things that are outside of their own experiences.
Meet Me at the Intersection has been carefully crafted to give a voice to the voiceless. While mainstream media is making strides towards inclusivity, Own Voice stories allow marginalised groups to share their experiences with honesty. The authors, by sharing their stories here, have poured their hearts out so that the readers can see a small selection of the true human experience, but also so that a reader might pick up the book and see themself reflected in its pages. The anthology opens the door to diversity in Australian YA as a collection of heartfelt and genuine stories, and hopefully sets a precedent for the future.