Sacha Jones Author of The Grass Was Always Browner
Publishers of books that change lives
Anne Tonner winner of 2017 Finch Memoir Prize has a chat with Samantha Miles and Sarah Blundell from Finch
Congratulations to our winner Anne Tonner, find out a little about her writing process and what lead her to write Cold Vein.
Coming May 2017
Talking Baby receives another outstanding review
“In this puddle-jumper from down under, child language development lecturer Maclagan and speech-language therapist Buckley set forth a just-technical-enough look at how children acquire language and how to best support its development. Beginning with infancy, the authors encourage parents to talk, talk, talk, about anything and to leave time for “response” (anything the baby does is her “turn” in the conversation). They do an excellent job of explaining why language and motor development often coincide (first sounds happen after six months when babies become vertical and the tongue is no longer “flopping against the back of the mouth”), and further details what language acquisition parents can best support at that time, such as “performatives,” which are words associated with gestures (e.g., “bye bye”). Librarians would do well to follow and suggest the authors’ reading recommendations, such as choosing books with rhythm and rhyme for infants so they can focus on voice, and then moving on to books that stimulate gleeful recognition of everyday life (bedtime, bathing, block play) for one- and two-year-olds. VERDICT This commendable title provides exactly what parents need without becoming bogged down in research and academics. For all libraries.”
Winner is Announced!
Finch Publishing is pleased to announce the winner and the shortlisted manuscripts for the 2017 Finch Memoir Prize. The prize is an annual award for memoir or life writing and has been running since 2010. The winner receives $5000 in prize money and publication. The prize is decided by a panel of three independent judges. This year’s judges were author Maggie Mackellar (When it Rains, How to Get There), Rowena Morcom (Editor of Good Reading magazine) and author Suzanne Faulkner (Mick: The Life of Randolph Stow).
The shortlisted authors and their manuscripts are:
Freya Latona with Deep Down Things
Kate Mathieson with Ways to Come Home
Julie Weatherburn with Swimming Across Myself
The winner is Anne Tonner with Cold Vein, a searingly honest and heartbreaking account of her daughter’s battle with anorexia.
Maggie Mackellar says:‘There is a ferocity and velocity to this memoir that’s totally compelling. I found myself reading with my breath held as the narrator reported on the disintegration of her family’s life as her daughter disappeared figuratively and literally under the savages of anorexia.This is an important memoir. It lays bare the powerlessness of a family in the face of a chronic disease. The loss of identity, the obsession with saving a child, the sacrifice, the guilt over neglected siblings, a marriage placed under enormous strain – all of this relentlessly builds to a crescendo of a story about survival. Many readers will relate to this book and find in it a source of hope that someone has been before them. This knowledge of itself is powerful.’
Rowena Marcom described Cold Vein as ‘harrowing, intense, absorbing and compelling. I defy anyone to read it without shedding a tear. You come to a realisation while reading how truly debilitating a disease Anorexia is and also how negatively society views this disease, giving it short shrift. It’s simply a book everyone should read.’
Cold Vein will be published in May 2017.
My book, The Priests, has just been mentioned in dispatches from the Royal Commission, regarding testimony by international canon law expert, Fr Tom Doyle (USA). It is reported in the Newcastle Herald by that legendary journalist and my friend, Joanne McCarthy.
(I wish I could share this with Man Chung Li; my sweetheart supported all of my work in this area, she listened to my ideas and sharpened them up. Thanks, Sweetie!)
The link is here:http://www.theherald.com.au/…/royal-commission-into-insti…/…
And the relevant part is:
“Doyle has just given evidence supporting James Miller’s view on celibacy. Miller is a barrister and author of the the book, The Priests, in which he recounted abuse by the late St Pius X Adamstown principal Father Tom Brennan, and alleged Brennan had a sexual relationship with another priest/teacher, the late Patrick Helferty.
“There is another layer that is not openly discussed and that’s the fact that the celibacy issue creates a power link between the superiors and the priests, a controlling link that you have there. – Dr Tom Doyle ”
Miller alleged in his book that the sexual relationship between Brennan and Helferty allowed notorious St Pius X priest/teacher John Denham to blackmail Brennan and continue abusing boys at the school for years, and beyond when he left the school.
Miller has argued the Catholic Church must address the celibacy issue, and remove mandatory celibacy, because of the ability to control clerics who are supposed to be celibate.
Doyle refers to it as “the controlling link”.
It has been all over the news, the request by Cricket Australia that when signing a contract, women players need to state they are not currently pregnant and subsequently to alert the organisation and team doctor if they fall pregnant.
There were also reports in The AUSTRALIAN… ‘that the players are not provided with maternity leave provisions available to other employees at Cricket Australia.’
Will this become a reoccurring issue as women’s sport rises in popularity?
Was Cricket Australia doing as they suggest simply putting the player’s health and safety first? Or is this symptomatic of a larger problem, that sporting organisations just don’t know how to deal with professional female athletes without resulting in gender bias?
“We were fascinated with Shine to explore the complicated world of fertility and female athletes.” She states, “As Liz Ellis informs us in the book ‘Fertility waits for no woman,’ so it is certainly an issue that sporting bodies need to address if they want to extend the playing careers of their female athletes and allow them to lead balanced lives outside of sport.”
“For those who have doubts about the need to provide maternity leave entitlements to female athletes, I’d urge you to read the stories featured in Shine to better understand the sacrifices made by these athletes and the impact that policies like this can have on their careers and their lives.” Megan concludes.
It is an interesting question, when is an employer such as Cricket Australia intruding into a woman’s personal life and possibly prejudicing that player for selection, and when is it a duty of care by the employer to the player to provide for her safety?
Gifts so good they are unwrapping themselves!
New official website launched for The Priests
This website will enable our author James Miller to share his thoughts and insights across a wide range of issues, from the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse through to great bush walks that help to quiet the mind and deal with the fallout of abuse.
So check it out at http://www.theprieststhebook.com we can guarantee an interesting and insightful read.
THE BOOK OF HE
In the The Book of He, Peter Berner (comedian, television and radio personality) offers a delightfully droll look at modern life from the perspective of a very ordinary man who has no desire to be anything but very ordinary.
Peter writes in his introduction: ‘He never climbed a tall mountain or saved a family from a burning building or even donated his time to charity, but he also never stood in the way of anyone who wanted to do those things. That had to count for something.’
Berner uses a minimalist style: ‘I’ve always been attracted to simple line work both spoken and drawn. There is an economy to being able to tell a story using the least number of lines. Plus, it’s a better hourly rate when you divide number of lines used into the fee,’ he says.
Peter does not work to a routine: ‘Some day I’ll have an idea first and the drawing follows – but more often than not I will sit and start making marks on paper and watch what happens.
‘I take panic, self doubt, and a constant fear of disappointing people and add to that blank paper, a pen and ink. I’ve never worked in what could be called a “structured fashion”.’
About Peter Berner
Peter Berner is one of Australia’s most popular and respected media entertainers, stand-up comics and corporate performers. He has written and performed solo comedy in both Australia and the UK since 1988. Peter has been a gym instructor, petrol station attendant, newspaper copy boy, advertising executive, barman, auctioneer, film actor and banana picker. He has appeared in TV commercials, worked as a radio broadcaster, writer, magazine columnist, TV presenter, stand-up comic, artist, cartoonist, corporate speaker and now author. All this means he either has a wealth of life experience or can’t hold down a job. He currently lives on an island in the sun.
‘Peter’s not only one of my favourite stand-ups of all time but I now find out that he’s also a wonderfully funny cartoonist! I’m almost paralysed with jealousy.’
Mikey Robins, comedian, writer, broadcaster and TV host
‘Who knew there were this many things to complain about? A perfect take down of modern life … This is Berner at his best.’ Paul Murray, journalist, broadcaster and host of Paul Murray Live, Sky News
Finch Publishing Manager’s pick for a great Christmas gift
The Grass Was Always browner
Girls born in suburban Sydney in the 1970s were rarely called Sacha, particularly girls who aspired to be Russian ballet dancers. Although having the wrong head, feet, and body for ballet, thanks in part to drinking too much Nestle’s pink milk and sugar-laden homemade lemonade, Sacha’s determination to be a prima ballerina saw her push through and against the odds succeed in becoming something of a dancing star, surprising no-one more than her legendary dance teacher – an actual Russian – Mrs Tanya Pearson (Mrs P). This is a hilarious memoir of growing up in 70s suburban Australia and of big dreams …that sometimes come true.
‘Jones delivers her story in a refreshingly upbeat tone, laughing loudly at herself with equal insight and humour, and refusing to sink into self-pity even as she describes the often-cruel rigours of the ballet world she is so desperate to succeed in – all on a breakfast-only diet (plus cake and laxatives on Saturdays).’
Review from Massey University, NZ
Available Now at all good bookstores and online.