Books for Bushfire Relief

I'm sure most of us reading this weblog would consider that books constitute a form of food for the soul; as much a requirement of life as clothing, shelter and physical sustenance. The recent bushfires that have ravaged the Victorian countryside have brought out the best in a huge number of people, with charities being overwhelmed by the amount of goods they have received in donation. Yesterday I received an email forwarded to me, by the novelist Susan Johnson, from Tali Lavi, a person in Australia who is attempting to add the donation of books to the list of goods previously mentioned. Here is the note I received:

I hope you and all you know are well.

I've been wondering what I can do for those people who have been affected by the terrible fires that have raged through Victoria. There are so many stories of devastating loss and those fortunate to be left with their lives are lacking any possessions.

You and I both place great value on the power and magic of words so I have a plan which I hope will take off.

It is to approach as many writers as I know and ask them if they would donate some of their own books - those they have written or any they can spare - to those affected. It would be wonderful if they wrote messages in them to make the gesture more personal. (Examples might be, 'Thinking of you', 'Wishing you solace', 'Hoping this book offers some magic', etc.) So this is what I'm asking of you ...

... because all people, but especially children, can find some kind of relief and inspiration in stories. As Horace writes in his Satires, 'Change the name and it's about you, that story.' Change their names (the bushfire victims) and it could very well be us. Hopefully, in turn, our stories and the stories of others will help them to see through the smoke and transport them to other, more beautiful, places than the ones they might occupy now.

At the moment - while the project is in its infancy - I can take the books at my place. My email address is talilavi[at]netspace[dot]net[dot]au.

Writers supporting this project to date include:
Antoni Jach
Sally Rippin
Jacinta Halloran
Rosalie Ham
Ellie Nielson
Jeff Sparrow
Howard Goldenberg
Susan Johnson
Damon Young
Maria Tumarkin
Kate Holden
Christine Darkas

Tali also supplied a mobile number here but I thought it best to leave that off for the present. If you think it would be easier to make contact that way, then write to me (perry[at]middlemiss[dot]org) and I'll pass it along. Sounds like a pretty good cause to me.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 17, 2009 3:17 PM.

Kate Grenville Watch #5 was the previous entry in this blog.

Clive James Watch #12 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en