Q & A with Di Morrissey
AUTHORS AT THE NATIONAL LIBRARY
11 October 2016
One of Australia's best loved authors, Di Morrissey, will be presenting this year's 'Harold White Lecture' on Sunday 30 October.
We caught up with Di ahead of the lecture and asked her a few questions about writing and her involvement in many worthwhile causes.
You are a tireless and passionate advocate and activist for many environmental causes. What are your main areas of concern?
The environment. Our politicians (with only a few exceptions.) The refugees and detention laws. Indigenous issues. The care and protection of women in our society.
Your new novel A Distant Journey will be released on 25 October 2016. Can you tell us what your readers can expect from the book?
To go on their own journey with a young American woman who finds herself on a remote sheep station and that she's married into a family with a secret. The time frame is the dramatic era of 1970s to 1990s during the collapse of the Australian wool industry.
We know that you have established The Golden Land Education Foundation in Myanmar. Can you tell us more about the work of the Foundation?
It's a primary school in a village outside Mandalay run by the local monks but we have a broader curriculum than the government schools and include IT, music and art and science, as well as the 3 rs. It is funded only by charitable donations. We have trained the teachers - wonderful young women from the local village.
Three of your books have been set in the Kimberley region. What is your connection with this region that enables such insight?
I have spent a lot of time there, especially staying among the Ngarinyin elders on the Mitchell Plateau. And I have good friends in the pearling industry, as well as the pastoralists who have helped me greatly and shared their knowledge.
What are you reading right now?
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett.
What three titles should be on the shelves of any self-respecting bookshop?
Tim Winton's non-fiction.
Anything by Elizabeth David.
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
What is the strangest piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Not strange…but sensible… from Morris West who told me you're only as good as your last book and you are never too important to sit in a bookshop and sign books and meet readers.