Stargazing with Rosa Praed

 
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It’s November, 2004. I’m sitting in one of the elegant reading rooms of the British Library, gazing at rows of readers bent to their books at long wooden tables, their hair illuminated by the glow of desk lamps. The ceilings are high above my head, the woodwork panelling of the walls rich and dark. I am tired, my head groggy. I moved to London two months before with a suitcase and a scholarship to study expatriate Australian writers, but I sometimes feel like I can’t wake from a bad dream.

I stare blearily at the book before me, With Fond Regards: Private Lives Through Letters (1995), an edited selection of letters sourced from collections in the National Library of Australia by Elizabeth Riddell, a poet and journalist. It includes missives by Joseph Banks, a botanist on board James Cook’s voyage to Australia; convict woman Margaret Catchpole; Jewish internees detained in Hay internment camp during the second world war; and literary figures such as Vance and Nettie Palmer, Patrick White — and Rosa Praed.

 

 

You can read the rest of this essay at the Sydney Review of Books.

 

A Curious Intimacy

 

 

In the 1870s two remarkable women meet in a remote country town in Western Australia. Ingrid is hundreds of miles from home, trying to distance herself from a broken heart after her lover was forced to marry. Ellyn is a young woman living in stark isolation and driven close to madness by the death of her baby daughter.  Ellyn's husband is away indefinitely, and she's had no word from him. When the two women meet, they forge a bond that grows ever deeper. But can their intimacy find acceptance in their conventional world?

 

A Curious Intimacy is available as an ebook from Kobo, ReadCloudGoogle Play and Amazon.


White ventriloquises 19th-century English with precocious sureness and, at its best, her descriptive prose is rhythmic, vivid, sensuous.
— Matt Buchanan and Jenny Tabakov, The Sydney Morning Herald
What does set the book apart from your average romance novel ... is the crisp precision of White’s language, especially her pinpoint descriptions of the flora.
— Diane Stubbings, Canberra Times

 

Entitlement

 

Eight years after the mysterious disappearance of her much-loved brother Eliot, Cate McConville finally returns to her family farm – only to discover that her ageing parents want to sell up and sever her only remaining link to him. 

Torn between her childhood memories and the present, Cate reconnects with an Indigenous employee of her father's, Mellor, who becomes crucial to the resolution of her dilemma.

Entitlement is a compelling story about loss, the heart, and the meaning of home for Indigenous and white Australians.


Entitlement is available as an ebook from ReadCloudGoogle PlayKobo and Amazon.


White achieves a sensitive and nuanced story, granting non-indigenous readers access to some of the complex issues surrounding the loss of identity and home that, unfortunately, is an overly familiar experience for Indigenous Australians.
— Natasha Molt, Canberra Times