Here at Gilgamesh Press, we want to continue with the sneak peaks into our debut book, Ishtar!
The first story in the Ishtar collection is a historical piece, written by the lovely Kaaron Warren. Here are her thoughts behind why she wrote her incredible tale:
‘The Five Loves of Ishtar’
When I first began reading for my Ishtar novella, I was living in Suva, Fiji. The public library has two shelves of history books, all of them predating 1970, most of them donated by departing diplomats. I had sporadic internet. I also had an anthropologist as a friend, who had brought with him his enormous library. So that’s where I started.
As I read, one message emerged to me; that Ishtar was a powerful presence over many millennia. The stories told of her were in the present; as if she had lived for those thousands of years and people had actual memories of her.
I wondered how she’d change over the years, and if time made her tired.
At the same time, I wondered about her companions, and one in particular. For a long time, I’ve been fascinated about the washerwoman in history, after watching a documentary by Terry Jones, where he said that there were washerwomen who travelled on the Crusades. Women risking their lives, suffering the hunger and the privations that the men suffered, yet never named, rarely mentioned. I have the image of them working tirelessly, scrubbing, washing, drying, only noticed if they failed to do their jobs.
I wondered what sort of washerwomen Ishtar might have, and what they might know. I thought that perhaps they would know every secret; you can’t keep things from the woman who washes your underwear.