Deborah Forster Interview

Deborah Forster's first novel, The Book of Emmett, has just been published, and she spoke to Jo Case from Readings about the novel, Melbourne and her previous work as a journalist.

This is a very Melbourne novel, anchored in a rich sense of place -- not just the "blasted landscape" of Footscray, but the cramped streets of North Melbourne, the Lifesaver-coloured cottages of Kensington and the perfect peaches and strong coffees of the Queen Victoria markets. How integral was the setting for you?

I see place as another character in this novel and I wanted the place and the people to reflect each other, to reflect the toughness of Footscray people as well as their sweetness. I love those places. That Footscray has gone now, it's changed as everything always changes. When I was a kid, I wasn't so crazy about it. I craved trees and flowers and pretty houses, much more like it's become. Originally the book was set more in North Melbourne and I researched the market and discovered there's a cemetery still under the big car park. A cemetery was strictly divided according to race and religion. Amazing. I lived in North Melbourne when I was young and grew to love it. The Queen Victoria Market is beloved in this city and it seems almost spiritual to me in its beauty. All that glorious fresh food.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 23, 2009 11:18 AM.

Leap of Faith was the previous entry in this blog.

100 Australian Poems: Introduction 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