NEW AND NEWS - IN MY WRITING LIFE ­ Blog ­ Susan Steggall

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After the high of Wednesday’s Society of Women Writers NSW meeting at which we announced the 2016 winner of the Di Yerbury Residency, Pamela Rushby, I was off to Canberra for a meeting of the Independent Scholars Association of Australia (ISAA). At the meeting we were planning quite a different event – ISAA’s annual conference on 13 and 14 October 2016. This years theme: ‘The Good the Bad and the Ugly; Shaping Public Policy in Australia: Past, Present, Future’ might be grounded in the nitty-gritty of politics and a contemporary world mired in seemingly intractable problems, but there will be much scope for challenging and innovative scholarship.

On my own scholarly journey I am delighted to announce the e-book versions of ‘Alpine Beach: a family adventure’ and its French version ‘Sydney-en-Chablais: aventure savoyarde d’une famille australienne’ (available in versions suitable for all e-readers). These publications recount the ten years, from September 1978, that we (John, Susan, son Zeke and daughter Zali) left Australia to live in the Alps of south-eastern France, so beginning an extraordinarily successful relationship with wintersport competition and a lifelong love affair with Haute-Savoie, its people and special places.

While I did have reservations about the wisdom (or folly?) of translating into someone else’s language (as Diego Marani writes in ‘The Interpreter’, his latest book: ‘Languages are like toothbrushes: the only one you should put into your mouth is your own’), I did it in the spirit of communication to share the record of my children’s formative years with the French parents of their peers. Several friends said: ‘Oh but, Susan, when we read your book, ‘Sydney-en-Chablais’ we hear you speaking’. At its most fundamental language is how we communicate with others so I guess I’m happy with that. for details about both books.

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