Monday, November 5, 2012

Questions of Travel–Michelle de Krester

The title of her latest book obviously drew me in. Questions of Travel…ah..has some one has already written the book that I had always meant to author one day..

Steve and I went along to the library talk not knowing what to expect.  When Michelle walked in and introduced herself, I was blown away.  She was Sri Lankan born and had lived on 3 continents…and was obviously a keen traveller.  Having lived on 3 continents myself and being born in the same town…I felt an instant connection.  This was interesting as Michelle questions in her book if travel helps us make connections with strangers or if it only serves to reinforce our isolation.  It is the first time we have had a Sri Lankan author at the library.   The author talks are dominated by a very Anglo audience as well as Anglo authors…so this is a refreshing change.

She is an engaging speaker and has come well prepared.   She talks to us first about her process of writing, the idea of creating a double narrative and of weaving stories within the main story.  She talks about the fact that the majority of people who travel the world actually do so for work or economic benefit or for the purpose of seeking asylum.  Having travelled for pleasure myself, I realise that my ideas about travel have been rather blinkered and am intrigued by what Michelle appears to question in this book.  Why do we travel………why is it that some people are quite content to sit at home and imagine distant lands while others are compelled to discover/smell/taste and hear the sounds of these lands for themselves? 

I buy the book and am looking forward to reading it…but as I sat and listened to Michelle I hear the voice within me…a voice that gets louder everyday…when will you start writing your first book…?  Each time I sit at an author talk and listen…I long for the luxury of time…so that I can begin in earnest my own journey of becoming a writer…….

Here is a snippet from the internet of what Michelle’s book is about.  It promises to be a compelling read….

“A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of Travel charts two very different lives. Laura Capture Traveltravels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events. Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories - from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia. Award-winning author Michelle de Kretser illuminates travel, work and modern dreams in this brilliant evocation of the way we live now. Wonderfully written, Questions of Travel is an extraordinary work of imagination - a transformative, very funny and intensely moving novel.”

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