The Big Issue : Edition 581
MAGIC MOMENTS LATE ON FRIDAY 20 June 2003, sealed boxes arrived with great secrecy at bookshops around the country. At 9am on 21 June, I presented at my town’s bookshop, where I had long before placed my order for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I was not alone. Within 24 hours, five million copies were sold around the world. But I was not alone in another way. My sister was there. Our parents had agreed to buy one copy of the 766-page hardback novel. The next few days were tense with furious reading, and even more furious protestations that her reading time was up! We stayed inside all weekend, trying desperately to tear through as many pages as possible before school and the possibility of spoilers. Sixteen years later, my sister and I walk into Melbourne’s Princess Theatre. The theatre seems to sparkle and glow. The soft red carpet is embroidered with the letter “H”. Some people are in long black robes; foreheads are emblazoned with eyeliner lightning bolts. In celebration of the Australian arrival of the award-winning play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, this edition is about all things HP. We take a closer look at Joanne Rowling, the remarkable woman behind the series, and the serendipitous way her novel series came to the stage. Back at the theatre, my sister and I take our seats, the lights go down... But you will find no spoilers here. I have vowed to #KeeptheSecrets. I can tell you that my favourite part was the audience. Together, we laughed at the in-jokes, shuddered at the scary bits and gasped as our imaginations were rendered real and magical before our eyes. There were 1500 people along for the ride and, this time, I didn’t mind sharing. Katherine Smyrk, Deputy Editor, Proud Gryffindor » ‘Your Say’ submissions must be 100 words or less, contain the writer’s full name and home address, and may be edited for clarity or space. YOUR SAY ED’S LETTER C’MON GET HAPPY I’d like to congratulate everyone involved in the production and selling of this great magazine. It’s a wonderful initiative, with a magazine full of interest. Most of all I love buying from one of the many vendors, and having a chat. Loved “The Happiness Project” article in the Vendor Week Edition [Ed#579]. Like to see many more of these, thanks. Geoff Voigt, Medowie, NSW getting to December 2017 before around December 2019. If only, I’d mutter, there were pictures in the articles, or anything that broke up the pages of type other than the cartoons. And where are the word puzzles? So, thank you for writing my pain. I do sort of miss having something to fetch from my postbox each week. Dr Andrea Shoebridge, Victoria Park, WA Rather than a submission, this is a thanks to Sydney vendor Megan L for her poem ‘Do You See’, published in The Big Issue Ed#570 (7-20 Sept 2018). It was beautiful and profound and I am sharing it with others. Thank you, Megan, from a random reader reflecting right back to you in gratitude. Richard, via email It was with a sob of relief that I read Fiona Scott-Norman’s piece this morning on The New Yorker in Ed#564. As you can see, I’m months behind with The Big Issue, a much more user-friendly publication. But by the time I read the weekend papers (well, the travel, review and magazine bits of the Oz), the Guardian Weekly, the daily online Guardian, The Conversation and Independent Australian, I have no time for more in-depth analysis. I subscribed to the NYer for over 10 years until I finally called it quits several months ago. This was because I was up to October 2017 with no likelihood of As winner of this edition’s Letter of the Fortnight, Geoff wins a copy of Together: Our Community Cookbook by the women from Hubb Community Kitchen and Meghan Markle. COVER #581 PHOTO BY AAP ILLUSTRATION BY GUY SHIELD/THE JACKY WINTER GROUP THE BIG ISSUE USES MACQUARIE DICTIONARY AS OUR REFERENCE. MACQUARIEDICTIONARY.COM.AU Next edition’s Letter of the Fortnight will win a copy of Peggy Frew’s new novel Islands. See our story on p32. For your chance to win, send your thoughts, feedback and stories to email@example.com. Mia Freedman The only magazine I buy anymore. @thebigissueaustralia helps support people who are homeless – $4.50 from every cover price of $9 goes to the person who sells it to you. And it’s a great read. Please support Big Issue sellers whenever you see them and help them support themselves.