A dog-eared hardcover copy of Deborah Savage's Flight of the Albatross

Hazel and Katniss and Harry and Starr Podcast: Flight of the Albatross

The logo for Hazel & Katniss & Harry & Starr podcast: an orange box with the words written in white fontHazel & Katniss & Harry & Starr is a weekly Canadian podcast about young adult literature, their film and television adaptations, and everything in between. Now in its sixth season, the podcast—hosted by film critic Joe Lipsett and English professor Brenna Clarke-Gray—aims to highlight the cultural worth of young adult and middle-grade texts, with a focus on Canadian, Indigenous and minority creatives and stories.

Join us weekly for deep dives, as well as a round of YA BINGO.

Book 6, Chapter 27: Flight of the Albatross

New Zealand month enters its third week as Brenna and Joe tackle Deborah Savage’s 1989 book Flight of the Albatross.

Despite being very readable, we’re got some issues with the white saviour storyline and the use of Māori characters to further the protagonist’s journey.

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Plus: Sarah’s obsession with weight, bad mom Pauline, the German (!) film adaptation we can’t screen, and bizarre 80s book covers.

Read on for more about this week’s episode from co-host Joe Lipsett:

As Brenna and I broached last week with Whale Rider, we’re experiencing some tension in New Zealand texts about Māori characters that appear to be explicitly created for white audiences.

This week’s book, Flight of the Albatross, has the same challenge (it’s arguably even more exacerbated). The question is whether this can be chalked up to being written in 1989 or if this is just Savage’s style?

In the episode, Brenna had difficulty overcoming these issues. I was a little less bothered, if only because I found the book really engaging. What can I say? I quite liked Savage’s prose! -JL

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