Leaping Into Waterfalls | Bernadette Brennan #AWWbiography

Gillian Mears often likened herself to a Clarence Valley butcherbird, a creature filled with beautiful song who could also peck out the eyes of fledglings. I have put off writing this book response for weeks now. Reading Leaping Into Waterfalls: The Enigmatic Gillian Mears by Bernadette Brennan was such a tremendous example of how to … Continue reading Leaping Into Waterfalls | Bernadette Brennan #AWWbiography

The Heavenly Christmas Tree | Fyodor Dostoevsky #RUSshortstory

I am a novelist, and I suppose I have made up this story.  I write ‘suppose’, though I know for a fact that I have made it up. The Heavenly Christmas Tree was initially published as The Beggar Boy at Christ’s Christmas in 1876 in A Writer’s Diary. It's fair to say that it reflects the religious conversion … Continue reading The Heavenly Christmas Tree | Fyodor Dostoevsky #RUSshortstory

White Nights and other stories | Fyodor Dostoevsky #RUSshortstories

The other day I saw a wedding ... but no, I had better tell you about the Christmas tree. To continue my Literary Christmas reading challenge, I have left behind Mary Gaunt and Australian shores to head off to pre-revolutionary Russia. A Christmas Tree and a Wedding is a short story by Fyodor Dostoevsky. It … Continue reading White Nights and other stories | Fyodor Dostoevsky #RUSshortstories

Summer Diary: The Herbogowan | Rumer Godden #ReadingWeek2021

'When the lotus comes it is time to go.' That is what we say in Kashmir. My copy of Coromandel Sea Change (Pan Macmillan 2013) includes a short non-fiction piece at the back called Summer Diary: The Herbogowan. It is undated. The only information provided is to be found on the title page, stating that … Continue reading Summer Diary: The Herbogowan | Rumer Godden #ReadingWeek2021

The Creatures’ Choir | Carmen Bernos De Gasztold #poetry

Last month I feature a few of the prayer/poems from Carmen Bernos de Gasztold's collection called Prayers From the Ark. These simple French poems had been rediscovered by Rumer Godden and then translated into English during the 1960's. The second collection of poems, The Creatures' Choir (1965), errs more on the side of poetry than prayers. … Continue reading The Creatures’ Choir | Carmen Bernos De Gasztold #poetry

Friends & Rivals | Brenda Niall #AWWbiography

'All over the country, brooding on squatters' verandahs, or mooning in selectors' huts,' so A. G. Stephens wrote in the Bulletin in 1901, 'there are scattered here and there hundreds of lively, dreamy Australian girls whose queer uncomprehended ambitions are the despair of the household. They yearn, they aspire for they know not what...' I … Continue reading Friends & Rivals | Brenda Niall #AWWbiography