An interview with Nike Sulway
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Nike Sulway’s latest book, Rupetta (2013), won the James Tiptree, Jr Award for a work of science fiction or fantasy that explores or expands our understanding of gender/sexuality. Rupetta begins four hundred years ago in rural France, where a young woman creates a part human, part mechanical woman, who she calls Rupetta. Bound to each of the women who wind her heart, the novel narrates the miracles and tragedies of Rupetta’s existence. The novel is also told from the point of view of Henri, a history student who yearns for her own mechanical heart. But as Henri uncovers the history of the Salt Lane women – mothers and daughters whose lives were shaped by Rupetta’s – she questions the very truth upon which she has always understood the world and her place in it. Nike’s first novel, The Bone Flute (2001), was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Awards and won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Emerging Queensland Author. Her other books are What the Sky Knows (2005), a children’s picture book illustrated by Stella Danalis, and the novel The True Green of Hope (2005) (as N.A. Bourke). Nike has a PhD in Creative Writing from Griffith University and lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Queensland. She also blogs at Perilous Adventures. This interview was conducted by email in June 2015.