Every year my kids’ school has a vital information night on at the same time as the Stella Prize longlist announcement. So, while I would have preferred to be at the Melba Spiegeltent for the announcement, I was instead in a school hall, pretending to listen to VCE study tips and surreptitiously looking at Twitter as the longlist was revealed.
I’m home now and I’m ready to start reading. Continue reading
An even spread of excellent books and some truly memorable author events has made 2019 a terrific reading year.
As I’ve done in previous years, I’ll focus on the books that have continued to resonate with me (as opposed to those I gave five stars to as soon as I’d finished reading). Continue reading
I went to two author talks last week (both were free events) and I was reminded why it’s ace living in a UNESCO City of Literature.
The first event was part of the Wheeler Centre’s Double Booked series. Favel Parrett and Anna Krien talked about their new books, There Was Still Love and Act of Grace respectively). At the second event, hosted by Readings, Charlotte Wood talked about her latest book, The Weekend (review to come but spoiler alert: I LOVED it). Continue reading
I volunteer with a palliative program as a biography writer. People tell their stories, I transcribe them. People will often say that they have ‘nothing to tell’. That’s never true, although I have learnt that the dates and facts about a person’s life are not that important. Instead, the story is in the small details and their recollections of how they felt at particular moments – that’s where the meaning is found.
Favel Parrett’s third novel, There Was Still Love, demonstrates how detail tells the story. It’s an ode to the life Favel shared with her grandparents – her fond memories are woven through a fictional account of twin Czechoslovakian sisters, separated by World War II. One stays in Prague, the other crams her life into a small brown suitcase and travels to Melbourne.
You must close up tight, protect your most needed possessions – all you can hold. Your heart, your mind, your soul. You must become a little suitcase and try not to think about home. Continue reading