Posterous is closing on April 30 so I have moved all my previous blog posts into this WordPress blog. It feels fresh and new, all clean and straight lines…I wonder how long until the toast crumbs begin to gather?
You shall now find me here: pipnewling.com yes, my very own virtual home. I feel a bit flash and grown up about that. I have also changed the name of the blog and am aiming to add all sorts of things – not just thoughts on writing and reading – because these days I can classify (justify?) anything as ‘research’.
I also wanted to tell you a story I have told twice in the last few weeks. It happened last year just before I left Shearer’s Bookshop and became a really full, full time student. A small, light haired woman, on the upward edge of middle age, came in and asked for a copy of Luke Davies’ Interferon Psalms. As blog readers (and all my friends) know this slim book of poetry was a life-changing read for me. I blogged about it here. As I walked my customer to the poetry section and pulled out a copy of the book, I began raving about how wonderful it was and how pleased I was that he had won the inaugural Prime Minister’s Award for it.
‘Yes, it is wonderful,’ the woman said. ‘I’m his mother and I’m buying this copy for a friend.’ I practically burst into tears. His Mother!
‘You should be very proud of him,’ I said, appreciating the difficulties that Davies’ life choices must have caused her, ‘the book is a real affirmation of life’. I knew I had tears in my eyes but she didn’t mind.
‘Yes. It is isn’t it. He had to borrow money to come to Australia just on the off-chance he won. He couldn’t afford the flight,’ she said. We pause. In that small silence there is pain and heartbreak but also wonder.
‘Please tell him that his book touched me, a complete stranger, just a reader, an ordinary person. I keep it by my bed now, just in case’, I said.
In the last two weeks I have had cause to recount this story, once to a man who asked if I had read the book and the second time to one of my sisters who I think became embarrassed at my emotional response to words on a page. Not just any words on a page though.
And so now, this telling makes three. Luke Davies’ mum is ace. So is Interferon Psalms.