24th - 26th August 2018
Power, Politics, Passion

Grasping the Past

If as L.P. Hartley once famously wrote "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there", it’s time for CWF 2017 audiences to open the atlas and navigate old lands with three great writers who bring history to life through their work.

Girl with a Pearl Earring author Tracy Chevalier joins award-winning writer and documentary maker Rachel Seiffert and new literary star Amy Gottlieb in this fascinating session on how they interpret, reimagine and explore history through literature. Rachel Seiffert looks through the keyhole into history by exploring how political and economic dramas affect ordinary lives. She is known in her works to date including award-winning novels The Dark Room, Afterwards, The Walk Home and A Boy in Winter and a collection of short stories Field Study for her sensitive and unsparing focus on history.

Tracy Chevalier’s latest book At the Edge of the Orchard is a rich, powerful story which weaves a rich tapestry of imagination from Ohio in 1838 to gold rush California. In it, Tracy brings to life the urge to wrestle with our roots, however deep and tangled they may be. Amy Gottlieb’s epic, enthralling and shimmering debut novel The Beautiful Possible follows a postwar love triangle between an American rabbi, his wife, and a German-Jewish refugee spanning seventy years and several continents. It’s about how the struggle for identity in a world laden with expectation and judgment might make the life you think you are living a beautiful lie.

Hosted by Gillian Polack.

Date: Friday 25th August 2017
Time: 2:30pm
Venue: Conference Room, Level 4, National Library of Australia

Tickets: Adult $24.00; Concession $21.95; Junior $11.75


Talent appearing in this show

Tracy Chevalier: Tracy is the author of seven novels, including the international bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring, longlisted for the Orange Prize in 2000 and adapted into a film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth.

Amy Gottlieb: Amy Gottlieb’s debut novel The Beautiful Possible was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and the Edward Lewis Wallant Awar?d.? Her fiction and poetry have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. She lives in New York City.

Rachel Seiffert: Rachel's first novel, The Dark Room, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and was made into the feature film Lore. She was named as one of Granta's twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 2003, and in 2011 she received the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


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