In this episode author, travel podcaster and poet Maame Blue drops by to chat about London, Naarm (Melbourne), travel and… oh yeah, her debut novel “Bad Love” (Jacaranda Books).
I’m not a romantic. I don’t know how to tell those kinds of stories, the ones filled with magic and laughter and a purple hue. Romance has never connected with me in that way. But love — hard, bad, rough love — well, I could speak on that all day.
— Maame Blue Bad Love, 2020
From the start, nothing about Maame Blue’s first novel “Bad Love” is what it seems. Even Dapo Adeola’s cover design hints at an underlying chaos that’s at odds with the cover’s gentle beauty. “Bad Love” is a detailed search for belonging; a love letter to a London that’s far from perfect; and an exploration of faded and unconscious decisions, half-thoughts and shard-words — all those things never said. It follows Ekuah, a young Ghanian-Londoner in her 20s as she navigates and dissects all of love’s permutations: hard, bad, rough, straight, queer — and everything in between. Lyrical where it needs to be, playful when it wants to be, and truth telling when it has to be, “Bad Love” is a complete rendering. I found myself fretting, cheering, and caring about every character: Dee and Jay, Ekuah’s loves; Amelia, Vio; Ekuah’s parents. There is heartbreak here, it’s not all hugs and puppies, but the power of this novel comes from Maame’s agile writing consistently defying expectation. So the power isn’t immediately obvious. Drawn from personal notes on relationships, experienced and observed, Maame’s quality as a storyteller lies in her caring and tender descriptions of every aspect of so-called everyday life. There’s something extraordinary in all our everydays, isn’t there? In this way “Bad Love” is not about, as the potentially misleading title suggests, a particular type of Love, a specific Relationship, or even one explicit incident of “Bad Love” — as I said at the start, nothing about the novel is what it seems. Without giving away any spoilers, “Bad Love” is a celebration of all the constituent talus and scree (both the good and the bad) that make up love; and it’s about how love’s riffles and glides (again, both good and bad) make their way inside us over the years, and, if we’re open to it, teach us how to love deeply.
Opening & Closing Credits by Unregistered Master Builder
Background music, ‘Touching Moments’ by Ketsa (Free Music Archive)
Background music, Markus J Buehler Viral Counterpoint of the Coronavirus Spike Protein (2019-nCoV)
Websites & Articles
Australia After the Bushfires (Guardian)
The Goats of the Great Orme Have an Important Coronavirus Message (Wired)
Book Brunch (an interview with Maame Blue)
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