Session 15 – Crossing the Boundaries

  • Meredith-JaffeMeredith-Jaffe

Event Category: 2016 and SessionsEvent Tags: Clyde Room, Mid Morn, and Sunday

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  • Join authors Meredith Jaffe and Suzanne Leal as they talk about their recent novels The Fence and The Teacher’s Secret. Both deal with crossing boundaries, physical and moral, and the implications of our social transgressions.

    The Teacher’s Secret centres around a popular teacher with something to hide. The new principal is determined to uncover the truth. A young mother, suddenly single, struggles to rebuild her life. A grieving daughter must learn to face the world again. A family forced to flee their homeland must start afresh. A small town can be a refuge, but while its secrets are held, it’s hard to know who to trust and what to believe. ˆ is a tender and compelling story of scandal, rumour and dislocation, and the search for grace and dignity in the midst of dishonour and humiliation.

    Suzanne Leal is a lawyer experienced in child protection, criminal law and refugee law. A former legal commentator on ABC Radio, Suzanne is a regular interviewer at Sydney Writers’ Festival and other literary functions. She is the senior judge for the 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Curiosity about hidden stories and secret lives drives Suzanne’s writing. It sparked her interest in the lives of her Czech landlords, Fred and Eva Perger, who inspired her first novel, Border Street, commended in the Asher Literary Award. Curiosity, too, prompted Suzanne to explore the intrigues of the schoolyard and bring them to life in her second novel, The Teacher’s Secret.

    The Fence, has been described as a ‘green thumbed social satire of suburban neighbourly conflict.’ It explores the lives of two women, separated by a forty­odd year age gap. How much have women’s lives changed in that time? Has feminism given us a good hand or are we still missing a few cards? Was it ever possible to have it all ― career, family, economic freedom ― at the same time? Building a fence is only the start of the conflict.

    Meredith Jaffé is a writer and occasional book critic. For four years she wrote the weekly literary column The Bookshelf for the online women’s magazine The Hoopla, sharing literary news, reviewing books and interviewing writers. Meredith regularly chairs panels, presents workshops and interviews fellow authors for various literary events and writers festivals. As a keen believer in the power of literacy, Meredith volunteers at The Footpath Library where she manages their annual EPIC! writing competition for school children.

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