By Pranvi Khare, Grade 11
Media in any form is a mirror to reality, highlighting the problems faced by its target audience. For young adults, it becomes a platform to find oneself, but also a mask behind which many can hide. This is unfortunate for in an inclusive and safe environment, one should feel comfortable enough to be themselves–stand out.
"And here was the most bitter paradox of adolescence: alone, I was most myself, most true. But the self that really mattered was the self that was visible, the self that could be shown to other people"
Lucy and Linh (Winner of the Ethel Turner Award) is one of the many works, and the first of the fiction works of author Alice Pung, an Australian-Vietnamese author. This book talks about a 15-year-old Vietnamese girl, Lucy, who studies in a Catholic school in Australia. Here she has friends and has managed to carve an identity for herself. She accepts an "equal access" scholarship, from a prestigious school, Laurinda, where she is the outsider as she is Asian and under polished. She loses her grasp on her identity and begins losing herself to the crowd. The story explores her identity and the concept of losing herself to a toxic environment in which standing out can lead to exclusion, in which wealth and power are everything. This narrative explores the challenges Lucy faces as she works to find herself again, through letters, to another character by the name of Linh.