No wonder March is Adelaideans’ favorite month. There are so many shows running at the moment. It is such a lovely time of the year and a beautiful way to say goodbye to summer! The offer is massive and the hardest part is to choose because you want to see everything! Actually, I wish I could party everyday… but as a “working/student” I must save money so I have to restrain myself. Hopefully there are many free events and that is what I love about Adelaide, they do their best to please every taste and every budget!
Each year, Adelaide hosts the “writers’ week”: a unique free event! This is an absolutely charming festival celebrating an important art form: WRITING. The writers’ week offers the opportunity to meet national and international authors, to hear about their books and to share their visions. http://www.adelaidefestival.com.au/2015/writers_week/adelaide_writers_week
It is an outdoor event taking place in the Pioneer Women’s Memorial Garden. The park is beautiful with the garden roses and the palm trees. It is a very relaxed atmosphere, very casual… I like the way they keep it “simple” and intimate. It makes it even more special and appropriate to share a true passion between writers and readers.
My friend Nasim (from Iran) and I decided to go to the Writers’ week on Thursday 05 March afternoon and we listened to Esther Freud talking about her book “Mr Mac and Me“ set at the onset of the First World War. Esther is a British novelist and actress. Her family is famous: she is the daughter of painter Lucian Freud and great grand-daughter of Sigmund Freud! It was really interesting to listen to her talking about her book, the war and the little village where the story takes place. It was a little bit hard for me to understand as we were sitting in the back so I had to real focus on the words. I must say the Q&A session was really good and it was also interesting to hear about the author’s personal life as she had quite an original childhood. As a child when she would visit her father’s studio, she was so used to see nudes paintings, it was very natural for her and part of her life. So when she was 16 and he asked her if she would mind sit for him, she immediately accepted and took her clothes off. Actually she said that posing naked for her father was much easier than taking her clothes off in front of a lover – which made the audience laugh! I hope it does not sound like the typical French cliché that the only part I got clearly is this episode 😉 haha… Actually I recall seing Esther’s nude painting at the Tate Modern when I was living and working in London and I am glad I could hear the true story behind this piece of art as I felt a little bit uncomfortable at the museum.
My favorite presentation was from the author Favel Parrett “When the night comes“. She is such a lovely and interesting person! Basically, her story explores the relationship between two different characters who left their mainland to seek for a better life. Isla is a isolated young girl who lives in Tasmanian and Bo is a Danish sailor on his way to Antarctica. Bo enjoys sharing his fascinating stories about the life on board of the Nella Dan ship that transports people and cargo between Australia and the Antarctic research station. The power of the story lies on the amazing description of the journeys and the detailed life on board which will make you travel with the characters. All inspired by the author’s own experience during her Australian Antarctic Arts fellowship used as research for her novel! http://www.antarctica.gov.au/news/2012/fellowship-to-tell-the-story-of-longest-serving-antarctic-ship
The Q&A session was also very interesting since the author explained how hard it was to let the characters go when the book was finished. She spent 2 years writing this novel and it was like Isla and Bo were part of her life. She also explained why she chose this title since people were surprised because when you think about Antarctica you think about light, ice, white snow, sun (by the way leave me a comment once you have read the book and I will reveal you why she picked this title). She also told us how hard it is for her to come up with a title as she changes her mind quite often. She also insisted on the fact that it is useful to have a good editor to walk you through and to say “ok, now it is done, stop” since she could have kept on doing more and more researches and re-write again and again about her story and her characters. She added she would be thrilled to work again on a ship like she did a couple of years ago because it is just you and the immensity of the sea balanced with the confined life on the boat that becomes your home and your family! It must be an incredible experience… Anyway, I have really enjoyed her presentation and I will definitely read her book!
Actually it is quite funny because I happened to have a conversation about Antarctica 10 days ago with an old friend of mine… Life is funny sometimes, don’t you think?! So my friend John (from California) told me that he would love to take a trip to Antarctica and he is meaning it! I was like “well, good for you” but maybe I should be more enthusiastic about it too since I have never been that “closed” from Antarctica! I must say I was feeling a little bit skeptical… probably because I have never considered this destination before, why would I!? It sounds like a cold no man’s land to me… but now after hearing about this lovely book and story I am willing to give it a go, I have totally changed my mind about it. It sounds like an expedition, an exciting and unique adventure!!!
This is what I like about books, it touches your heart and gives you new perspectives. Writing is about creating, communicating, expressing and connecting with the world… I can’t see better events than Adelaide Writers’ week to celebrate this overwhelming feeling! All in all a fantastic journey where imagination and creation have no limits!