|Toni Jordan came to our attention back in 2008 with her first novel Addition, which was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. She is now back with her third novel, Nine Days and she recently spoke to Linda Morris for "The Age":|
At a guess, the photograph [see cover at top] was taken some time in 1940, probably at Melbourne's Spencer Street Station. War had been declared in Europe and Menzies was backing Britain, boots and all. Neither the limbless veterans of Pozieres nor Europe's grim battlefield graveyards could check the enthusiasm of Australia's sons busting to fight for the Empire...
...Text publisher Michael Heyward had come across the still many years before while flicking through the archives of Melbourne's State Library and passed it to Jordan as she was casting about for an idea for her next novel.
''I noticed how gorgeous it was,'' Jordan says. ''It is a really heartbreaking moment but I didn't know if it could translate into something, and I really didn't think it would.''
She stuck the picture over her desk and for almost a year thought she'd never find a story to match its intimacy and grandeur.
Then, one day in July last year, the story came tumbling out. ''I just thought and I just typed.''