My name is Anna Lussenburg, and I'm on a mission to get us talking about difficult subjects through the medium of satirical stories. I'm also looking for collaborators to help me, and specifically, I'm talking about publishers and illustrators. Though the publishing industry is tough and subject to multiple trends, I firmly believe that somewhere out there is the right kind of publisher who is not afraid of challenging the status quo (no vanity publishers, please) and would like to join me in helping get my stories out.
Everywhere these stories go, they connect and find resonance with audiences, both young and old, as they're great conversation generators in an increasingly polarized world. I'm also looking for a brilliant illustrator who would like to collaborate with me on producing illustrations to go with them. So please, if you are someone who loves satirical stories and works in the publishing world, or if you're an illustrator who thinks you could do a great job of illustrating these satirical tales, please get in touch.
What is an Inconvenient Ironist?
Economic discourse across the world is becoming increasingly unforgiving. People are often surrounded by social media feeds that simply amplify their own thoughts back at them. This is all a classic example of black-and-white thinking. I'm right and you're wrong, or you're wrong and I'm right. Where have the shades of grey gone? Because, let's face it, I know there are tons of people out there who lean left on certain issues, right on other issues, and are squarely in the middle on others. However, there is a desire out there to push people to one extreme or another. The old "you're either with us or against us"mentality. Rather, I believe it's about nuance and the ability to see different sides of the same coin.
That's why you will find that I will poke fun at every side of the political and social spectrum. That's right, nobody is safe! My allegorical stories, which I also write and some of which are on the site, are all allegories told through the adventures of a series of animals. I have stories that feature a cat, a penguin, a pig, a duck, a chicken, and so on, and they span subjects from our growing inequality to climate change, inept political figures, our clumsy international diplomacy, and much more.
In your book "Crump the Cat," why did you turn the former US President into a cat?
You'll have to forgive me; it's my British sense of humour and I grew up with the greats of British comedy, who took pride in the fact that everyone and everything in life is subject to being made fun of. To me, Donald Trump is a bombastic tomcat. I turned Boris Johnson into a baboon. Also, have you ever noticed cats hang around people who hate them? They just don't go away. They sit on your lap, rub themselves against you, and purr in your face, and you just can't stand them.
It's just 28 pages. Is your book, "Crump the Cat," worth the money?
If you can only measure wit in pages, then you can say that I'm short on wit, but of course I wouldn't say that, and neither will you, not if you buy my book. You can see more about my book here.
Why do you think satirical poetry and commentary are important?
Because they hold a lens up to society and get people to understand that the world they live in is utterly and completely mad, with so many illogical ideologies and belief systems, it's frightening. I also just want to make people laugh and I always do my best to make any commentary that I make amusing, even if I'm tackling a difficult subject.
Have you written other books?
All my poems, with the exception of "Crump the Cat," are just waiting to be made into books, and I'm a firm believer that when the time is right, the right person (or people) will appear.
From my standpoint, I believe much of what we "read" now is more for the social capital of having the right book on our bookshelf. Sometimes we feel we must read something because we have to keep up with an ever-changing social landscape. I'm happy to say I write for enjoyment, and I perform for the same reason. I am not obligated to say the "correct" thing. That's the point—to have a voice that is free from convention, from the "right way" of thinking. So I will happily wait to find a publisher whose vision coincides with mine.
In the meantime, I have stories that feature a capitalist chicken who finds out that endless growth on a finite planet is not the answer. I have a frog who finds that her green energy-driven froggy utopia comes with its own issues: a vegetarian pig battling for his rights. I have an asthmatic capitalist penguin who thinks that having his own ice version of Versailles can free him from the environmental mess he has initiated. In the end, I am guided by Walter Lippmann's famous words, "When all think alike, then no one is thinking."
If you'd like to see inside my first book, "Crump the Cat," have a look here.
Enjoy the site and thank you for visiting.