Anne Collins’ new book, Listening to the Deep Song (published by Bright South), was launched in Hobart on the 11th of November. A strangely auspicious day? Indeed, it was Remembrance Day – 103 years since the end of World War One. It was, then, appropriate to preface the launch of Anne’s book by remembering the many lives and futures wasted and extinguished not only on far fields, but also here, in lutruwita-Tasmania. To:
… Acknowledge the palawa and pakana people who endure here in lutruwita, who continue to care for this Country, in accordance with the guidance of Elders of the distant and more recent past, and of the present. Let us all support the emergence of Elders for times yet to come and for a safer, fairer, more peaceful future for all.
It may be coincidence, but perhaps it is not, that the 11th of November day is also the date upon which two other well known books that reflect deeply on war were published. Those books were:
- The Two Towers by JRR (John Ronald Reuel)Tolkein, the second volume of the Lord of the Rings – it was published in 1954; and
- Catch 22, by Joseph Heller, which was published in 1961.
Believe me, it was a complete coincidence that saw us launch Anne Collin’s book, Listening to the Deep Song, on the same date as those two books, but one of the aspects of Anne’s book that hooked itself most profoundly into my mind was the way the author, or one might say, ‘the book’ reflects on war, conflict, home, country and culture. These are all parts of the dense weaving that makes a people, nation or identity, but which may, it seems, fray and come undone all too easily. When it does, it leaves us exposed to the abrasions of insecurity, fear, injustice, anger, hate and chaos.
I won’t go on, for there is much more to Listening to the Deep Song than a narrow focus on just this one aspect might lead you to believe. Indeed, Anne Collins does plumb deep chords, but she does so with a lightness of hand that might open readers to growth and learning; however, regardless of whether it does or not, her writing is simply a pleasure to read. It is, therefore, both a pleasure and an honour to offer others the opportunity to read Listening to the Deep Song. I hope that you will do so.
And, should you want to know another perspective, Listening to the Deep Song was launched by Petrina Meldrum, a writer and editor particularly interested in literary fiction. Walleah Press’s Ralph Wessman has published Petrina’s launch speech along with his own reflections on the launch, on his own website, which you can find by clicking here.
Petrina, herself, has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Spanish, and a Masters in Creative Writing. Her work has been honoured with several awards and may be found in various publications. It includes short stories for adults and children. A manuscript, Foxton Walk, gained her a place in the Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program. I hope we will see it emerge soon.
If you want to forego reading about Anne’s book and just read Listening to the Deep Song itself, you can find out how to get yourself a copy here.