Monday, May 26, 2014

Saskia Beudel at the Memoir Club 27/5/14

The Memoir Club Presents: Saskia Beudel in conversation with Barbara Brooks

Tuesday, 27 May 2014, 6.00 - 9.00 PM

The Randwick Literary Institute,
60 Clovelly Road, Randwick 2031

Saskia Beudel’s A Country in Mind: Memoir With Landscape “intertwines genres of memoir, travel literature, historical and ecological writing in order to reveal the complex interplay between history, memory and landscapes”.—Autumn Royal,TEXT Review

After a period of loss, and much change, Saskia began walking. Within 18 months she had walked in the Snowy Mountains, twice along the south-west coast of Tasmania, the MacDonnell Ranges west of Alice Springs, the Arnhem Land plateau in Kakadu, the Wollemi National Park in New South Wales, and in Ladakh in the Himalayas. But she kept returning to the glowing ochre gorges of central Australia.

The book that emerged tells stories from Australia’s desert heart, examines the entanglement of Aboriginal and European cultures, remembers POW camps in Indonesia during World War II, and relives childhood epiphanies in a haunting collection of landscapes while tracing family secrets across the globe. 

Saskia powerfully captures the enigmas of displacement, belonging and the intricacies, often strikingly at odds with one another, of Aboriginal and settler understandings of the desert environment in her book A Country in Mind, which will be discussed at the Memoir Club.

Saskia Beudel is the author of the novel Borrowed Eyes (Picador, 2002), which was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards for fiction and the Dobbie Awards for a first manuscript. She has published widely as an essayist, with works appearing in the Iowa Review, Best Australian Essays, HEAT, Overland and the Cultural Studies Review. Her second book, A Country in Mind, was published in 2013.

Barbara Brooks has published fiction, essays and a biography,Eleanor Dark: a writer’s life, and co-edited Mud Map: Australian women’s experimental writing. She teaches at UTS and Masterclasses (see