S8E7 Jade Song & Mia Arderne: Mermaids, Body Horror & Becoming

27 Jul 2023
S8E7 Jade Song & Mia Arderne: Mermaids, Body Horror & Becoming

Image credit: Jade Song by Hui Cheng

Mia Arderne asks Jade Song about their debut novel Chlorine. They discuss beliefs about mermaids, girlhood, magical realism, mental illness, writing about violence and sexual assault, reclaiming one’s body, queer narratives and advice for writers.

Mia Arderne is the author of Mermaid Fillet (Kwela, NB Publishers, 2020). This debut novel was long-listed for the Sunday Times-CNA Literary Award and was taught as a prescribed text in UCT’s English Literature curriculum. Mia holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town. She has bylines in the Mail & Guardian, Daily Maverick and New Frame among others. Her narrative essay “1000 Nights in Silence” appears in the anthology Touch: Sex, Sexuality and Sensuality (Kwela, 2021). She has also written several children’s stories published by Penguin Random House.

Jade Song is an artist, art director, and writer in New York City. Their stories and essays have appeared in Teen Vogue, Electric Literature, and various literary magazines.  Their debut novel Chlorine, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, is out now from William Morrow/HarperCollins (US) and from Footnote Press (UK). Their art direction work has been awarded by and featured in Campaign US, The Shortys, Bustle, and AdAge, among others. 

In this episode we are in solidarity with French-Turkish sociologist, feminist and writer Pınar Selek. We call on the Turkish authorities to drop the charges and end the decades-long judicial harassment of Pınar Selek. You can read more about her case here

As tributes to her, Mia reads an extract from Mermaid Fillet and Jade reads an extract from “Postcolonial Love Poem” by Natalie Diaz. (Natalie Diaz was a guest on our podcast in season five episode four.)

Listen to the episode here: