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The Finch Girl

Chapter in a book (in progress)
in Performing Punctuation: Decolonizing English Mouths, Tongues, Ears and Pens. Edited by Anna Brown and Julieanna Preston. Intellect. December 2024 (working title)
The edited book bears out digressions, indiscretions, transgressions and fabulations of grammatical marks unfaithful to propriety. It makes public an on-going and refreshed movement to play humorously and tenaciously with those small but powerful writing marks that regulate, discipline and structure textual language and spoken discourse.

My contribution to this book starts from the idea that the girl's body and the finch's head might together look like a semicolon. Imagining that the finch was placed in her mouth to lead her on her way beyond death, or back home, conjures up ideas of pausing... and carrying on; these moments of thought separated by this misunderstood punctuation mark, but also filled with hope for the future. Much like my teenage daughter's lengthy observations of Taylor Swift songs.  Composing the chapter from fragments including the Finch Girl, the story of Echo, and the Semicolon Project, with focus on young girls and the way they speak, I will ask if paying attention to ‘girlspeak’ might just give us hope for the future?

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