National coverage for How I Pawned My Opals

The first title in our ‘To Be Continued’ series was launched at the beginning of this month at a public lecture by Associate Professor Katherine Bode at the Australian National University. Both the lecture and the book were warmly received – and Kath became a media star for 48 hours with pieces in the Sydney Morning Herald, Canberra Times and interviews and coverage on radio (you can listen to the ABC’s PM with Linda Mottram). The excitement has us all fired up to keep moving with further titles!

We will be especially looking at stories that are uniquely Australian whether they are about the early days of Botany Bay or bushrangers or cricket! The stories that have stood out for Kath – and which the Obiter team are particularly looking forward to reading – are the ones that represent Aboriginal characters in complex ways. Kath says that literary historians have long thought that Australian fiction followed the legal lie of ‘terra nullius’ in obscuring the presence of Australia’s original inhabitants, but much of the local writing about bush life is characterised by consistent depiction of Aboriginal characters.

Stay tuned as we dig more ‘lost’ stories out of Kath’s literary treasure trove of a database!

Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Announcing the launch of How I Pawned My Opals and Other Lost Stories

We are delighted to announce that the first title in our To Be Continued series will be launched at the Australian National University on Thursday 1 March. This project is a collaboration between Obiter and Associate Professor Katherine Bode who has written the introduction to this collection of Catherine Martin’s nineteenth-century tales of manners. The book will be launched at a public lecture – Uncovering the true history of Australian literature – at the Australian National University in which Kath will explore the broader implications of her research. We’ll celebrate the book with a glass of champagne after the lecture and books will be available for sale.

We hope you can join us! Event registration.

 

Book signings

Tears, Laughter, Champagne author Karen Downing and the Singed Sisters who shared their stories for the book will be signing copies at book stores to mark the 15th anniversary of the Canberra 2003 bushfires.

  • Saturday 13 January, 10am-12pm at The Markets, Wanniassa
  • Thursday 18 January, 12-2pm at Dymocks, City
  • Thursday 18 January, 3-5pm at The Markets, Wanniassa
  • Thursday 18 January, 6-8pm at Beyond Q, Weston

Stop by for a chat!

Annabel Crabb launches Obiter’s first book

Yes, there were tears, laughter and champagne – and huge amounts of cake – at the launch of Obiter’s first title off the press on Saturday 9 December. And some of the tearing up was from Annabel Crabb who graciously did the official honours.

Annabel said she ‘wasn’t quite ready for how powerful the opening chapter was going to be’ and that it was ‘an extraordinary piece of writing’ that wove together the stories of all the women to produce ‘something rather wonderful and beautiful … stories of friendship and generosity and sharing, and building something that is bigger than the constituent parts of the people involved.’ ‘And that is what I love,’ she said, ‘about food and cooking for others, and I think that this book absolutely nails that sense and that spirit.’

Tears, Laughter, Champagne could not have happened without some very special people: the amazing Annabel Crabb who launched the book so warmly; all the Sisters who baked cakes and slices to enjoy with the champagne; the 160 people who attended the launch and bought 117 copies of the book; the 128 Pozible supporters who pre-ordered copies to the tune of $8385; and the Obiter elves Daniel, Dan and Ric who spent hours stuffing envelopes.

The book is now available at selected outlets in Canberra and online in the Obiter shop.

Tears, Laughter, Champagne now available in stores!

As well as being able to purchase copies online from our Obiter Publishing shop we are delighted that you can now purchase a copy of Tears, Laughter, Champagne through several outlets in Canberra.

BRADDON

Barrio
ORI Building
59/30 Lonsdale Street
Braddon ACT 2612
http://www.barriocollective.com

handsomepretty
Shop 64, ORI Building
30 Lonsdale Street
Braddon ACT 2612

CITY

Dymocks
Canberra Centre
Shop CL17, Bunda Street
Canberra City ACT 2601
https://www.dymocks.com.au/stores/act/dymocks-canberra

KINGSTON

Muse
EAST Hotel
Cnr Canberra Ave and Giles St
Kingston ACT 2603
http://www.musecanberra.com.au/

MANUKA

Paperchain Bookstore
34 Franklin Street
Manuka ACT 2603
https://paperchainbookstore.com.au

WANNIASSA

The Markets Wanniassa
25 Sangster Place
Wanniassa ACT 2903
https://www.themarketswanniassa.com

WESTON

Beyond Q
Weston Arcade
11 Brierly Street
Weston ACT 2611
http://beyondq.com.au

Curves
Cooleman Court Shopping Centre
Brierly Street., T3
Weston ACT 2611
http://www.oranaschool.com

Orana School
Front Office and School Shop
Unwin Place
Weston ACT 2611
http://www.oranaschool.com

WODEN

Harry Hartog Bookseller
Westfield Woden
13 Keltie Street
Phillip ACT 2606
http://www.harryhartog.com.au

 

For anyone interested in purchasing How I Pawned My Opals this title is currently only available via the online Obiter Publishing shop. We will have further details about this title coming in 2018!

Singed Sisters in the spotlight

Local Canberra media has been quick to respond to the launch of Obiter’s Pozible campaign for Tears, Laughter, Champagne. The story of friendships forged through food and fire resonates with Canberrans who can all tell you where they were and what happened on 18 January 2003.

Kathryn Vukovljak discussed the book with Karen Downing for City News and Elias Hallaj has given it a plug on RiotACT.

Some 40 wonderful people have pledged to the project already. With 22 days to go we need some more supporters to reach our target!

 

Singed Sisters on air!

Singed Sisters Liz Tilley, Liz Walter, Alison Mills and Karen Downing joined Lish Fejer on ABC Radio Canberra’s ‘Sunday Brunch’ on Sunday 15 October to talk cakes and their upcoming cookbook come memoir Tears, Laughter, Champagne.

Liz W bought along Aunty Pat’s Chocolate Cake, a family recipe that tastes like chocolate cake used to take.

The Sisters love an opportunity to get together and love a chat – you can listen to them on the ABC website and get Aunty Pat’s recipe as well.

You can also help us reach our funding target to make this project a reality at Pozible.

From tea and tears to laughter and champagne

Spread the word. Our Pozible campaign for Tears, Laughter, Champagne is now live!

On 18 January 2003, four bushfires that had been burning in the Brindabella mountains for more than a week combined and roared into Canberra’s south-western suburbs, destroying 500 homes and claiming four lives.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the people behind the headlines?

Tears, Laughter, Champagne is the story of nine women who forged an unbreakable bond in the weeks and months following the fires, brought together by the one thing they had in common, loss. In this cookbook come memoir these ‘Singed Sisters’ recount their fifteen year journey from the day the fires changed their lives. Share in their story of recovery through the recipes that gathered them together and celebrated the milestones of rebuilding what was lost.

As devastating bushfires become part of life for so many communities around Australia this book will serve as a reminder of the enduring nature of friendship, good food, and great champagne in tough times. This book is also a chance for the Singed Sisters to pay forward the charity and kindness they received in the aftermath of the fires. All profits from the sale of this book will go to YWCA Canberra – chosen by the Singed Sisters because of their work in housing support, child care services and family counselling as well as their advocacy on gender equity and women in leadership.

To make this book a reality there are some upfront costs to cover such as photography, design, layout and printing. The Singed Sisters have been talking about this book for over a decade now – they are ready to make it happen. And with just a little bit of help from you through our Pozible campaign it will!

We would be very grateful if you could share this email with friends and family who might also like to support Tears, Laughter, Champagne. Thank you!

An emerging sisterhood of women

Katherine Bode has given us her introduction to How I Pawned My Opals and Other Lost Stories and, as the best introductions do, she gives us a greater appreciation of the work of Catherine Martin.

Martin’s family (the Macaulays) began their life in Australia as farm labourers but by the time Catherine moved to Adelaide in 1876, aged 29, she was well educated, fluent in a number of modern languages, particularly German, and widely read in literature, theology and philosophy. Although Martin escaped the extreme poverty of her childhood, she had to work to support herself for much of her life.

Catherine married Frederick in 1882, when she was 34. He was an accountant, social reformer, and writer. The marriage seems to have been a happy and equal one. They shared a belief in social justice, a desire to write and, and together they travelled the world. Martin described Frederick and herself as “comrades”.

No wonder, then, that Martin’s stories have an independent and strongly delineated female character at their core. These women are different in so many ways but they are all decisive and determined, and resist or actively go against the mores of their respective societies.

It is Bode’s fascinating insight that although Martin, with her depiction of Stella Courtland in her most famous work, An Australian Girl, has long been seen as responsible for creating a uniquely Australian form of the ‘New Woman’, these lost stories show that she conceived of this figure as a global phenomenon, an emerging sisterhood of women independent in thought and action.

We are looking forward to introducing these women to you!

 

 

Satirical photo from 1901, with the caption ‘New Woman—Wash Day’, US Library of Congress.