Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Review of the Brisbane Writers Festival


Brisbane Writers Festival - words, old and new friends

I had the pleasure of meeting James A Levine, a guest at the Hachette Author dinner; what a guy! He's the sweetest, Dr/humanitarian/ timid taxi hailer/ and British born author of 'The Blue Notebook' his moving story of Batuk, a child prostitute living in the street of cages in Mumbai.

Brisbane Writers Festival Saturday 12 September Session " My Big Fat Eccentric Family"
Its not every day you get an invitation like this, so I prepared a little performance piece, that involved my fellow panellists; the gorgeous Gary Bryson and Tom Cho playing my beloved Mum & and Dad whilst Cate Kennedy mediated and I ate a bbq chook, re telling tales from my book.

CT & Julia Morris. Oh dear, that hand looks somewhere between a sideways peace sign and a grope, when actually it's a Claw Lawn Bowls grip. (True, we were bowling team mates earlier this year against the Inderpendant booksellers.) Julia was fantastic in her BWF sessions. During her first I officially became a Tena lady.

Lisa Unger, Gregg Huwitz and CT. What can I say 2 out of 3 are international best selling authors and the other one is me. Gregg and I met chasing Vanessa Radnidge down the road and Lisa and I met seeking shade in the foyer of the Mantra Hotel, where we discovered a shared love of language, islands, three year old girls & velvet bags.

Can you believe it? Neither could I that's why i took a picture.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Don Walker, Catherine Therese & Krissy Kneen

Whats Left Out? session at Melbourne Writers festival 29/08/09. I was incredibly nervous before this one..until Don whispered on our way in " Whats the worst thing that could happen Catherine? No one's going to throw a jug at you!" He was right no one did!

Glen David Gold & Catherine Therese

Fellow reverse parkers Glen David Gold and me at MWFestival, musing over Skippy, offshore oil rigs, orchard stalking, and Mrs Doubtfire amongst other things....accompanied by the sound of Vanessa Radnidge's Flipper impersonations - Just a little quiet time before my first session.

Melbourne Writers Festival - Outsiders Catherine Therese, MJ Hyland, Nikki Gemmel

Nikki Gemmel, me, and MJ Hyland signing at the conclusion of our lively red lipstick "Outsiders" session. Between 'fecks, ladies posing as gentlmen, scarf waving and half -a -thumbs' it was a hilarious panel.
"I attended the Outsiders event at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival this evening and it was simply, simply marvellous. The panel was made up of M.J. Hyland, Nikki Gemmell and debut writer Catherine Therese and they discussed what it meant to be an outsider and how outsiders feature in their work. All three panellists were incredibly engaging and wonderful readers when they read aloud a section of their work. I’m not usually a fan of being read to but all were spirited and articulate." Mae ANZ litarary blog

Reviews for The Weight of Silence

  • AUSTRALIAN BOOKSELLER & PUBLISHER MAGAZINE ..."This is a special memoir. It is written with great feeling, imagination, humour and originality, and shows a writer with a distinct view of the world within and around her."
  • AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S WEEKLY ....Recommended read ... " A moving and funny childhood memoir ....timeless."
  • BETTER READ THAN DEAD --- Bookshop... " Catherine Therese puts her childhood memories on display in this raw, moving and at times hilarious account of her younger life. This book is well written and unique, and touches on issues that are easily identifiable with us all. The natural curiosity of a growing girl never makes for a dull story and if at times you need a breather from the back streets of Blacktown, just close the pages and stare at the front cover! What an image. I loved this biography."
  • BIG W ENTERTAINMENT... 5 STARS ..." Stunning, heartbreaking, book, that deserves multiple readings. I have never read such a revealing portrayal of childhood. Therese uses the language we think in not speak and as such this gem of a book is an utter revelation. It is beautifully , hauntingly written. As soon as I finished it I started again. Genius."
  • CANBERRA TIMES...Emily Maguire '...Its a hearfelt, funny and deeeply moving memoir about flawed families, unconditional love and growing up too fast but turning out okay anyway.'
  • CHRIS BURGESS ---- Leading Edge --- " The Weight of Silence is without doubt one of the most exciting and exceptional Australian debuts of recent years. Describing it as a ‘memoir’ hardly does justice to the imagination, verve and freedom expressed in this strikingly original work. At a surface level it is the story of Catherine Therese’s childhood and early teens growing up with her rather unusual family in the western suburbs of Sydney. At a deeper level it takes the reader deep within the experience of a difficult family life in a way that is challenging, funny, heartbreaking and ultimately inspiring. This is ‘stream of consciousness’ writing without literary pretension. Raw, honest and incredibly imaginative, I loved it. "
  • DI MORRISSEY... Author..." This book is SO moving...just beautiful.
  • FRANKIE MAGAZINE..." Guys like David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs have given the term ‘memoir’ a swift kick up the arse and now we can add Catherine Therese to the list."
  • GOOD READING MAGAZINE...' 5 STARS Outstanding. Catherine Therese's first book is one of the most compelling childhood memoirs I have ever read . Often it seems as if she is just throwing down whatever thoughts are inside her head down on paper. This unique writing style using prose and poetic verse reminds me a little of Augesten Burroughs. It's an unforgettable book that will remind you of many childhood stories that have never been told.
  • MADISON MAGAZINE..." This memoir is a bouquet of dark humour laced with heartbreak and the kind of suburban detail to which we can all relate. Therese has crafted a coming of age reminiscence populated by wonderful characters and suffused with unblinking honesty... A highly worthwhile read from a sharp new Australian voice. "
  • MANLY DAILY ..." This is a brave memoir that successfully engages the voice of Therese as a child and teenage narrator.It is a beautifully written chameleon of a book dotted with pint sized poems that sometimes befuddle, sometimes dazzle.It will perform its way into your heart and mind, then quietly turn itself inside out and reveal its secrets before rushing headlong into the final pages that will leave you holding your breath. A courageous debut.
  • NICK TATE ---- Actor --- " Catherine Therese has written a stunning autobiography, an extraordinary book. She truly is a one off, a delightful, funny, quirky painfully honest young woman; this is one very brave, courageous, talented writer, one we are going to hear a great deal more from. I have no doubt that this book will take Australia by storm. "
  • PETER BISHOP --- Creative Director Varuna ---- " This is a book of deep, sacred dignity and the highest literary skill and imagination. The story comes to life through acute observation and detail and a unique voice and beautiful writing; an impressionistic style, a quivering, shimmering presence; a vitalitythat gives one a sense that there may be another way of living, of looking at the world. "
  • READINGS--- Melbourne --- " Catherine Therese’s family all describe her as ‘unusual’ (pronounced ‘un-you-sual’). In this unique memoir, she tells us of her pride in having an outie belly button, being greedy for choosing the names of two saints and seeing her first doodle courtesy of the naughty grandson next door. Despite being laugh-out-loud funny, the underlying theme is much more serious. The irony of her father’s alcoholism and verbal abuse, with her mother and sisters never daring to mention his appalling behaviour due to the fear of embarrassing him, is at turns painfully funny and incredibly sad. First kisses, shallow school friendships and a dodgy boyfriend occupy her teen years as the family silences grow and the deceptions increase. The birth of her son is relentlessly depicted via the madness of free verse, highlighting the horrors of contractions and impending parenthood. Therese generously allows us a glimpse into her tortured but uniquely creative soul and her eventual redemption."
  • SALVATION ARMY WARCRY MAGAZINE...." 4 1/2 STARS Excellent and highly amusing memoir of life in Oz in the ’60s and ’70s. A coming of age saga that will give you equal cause to laugh and cry. Creatively written.'
  • VOGUE MAGAZINE ..." A bittersweet remembrance of things past and dark suburban secrets."