In a small London café, teenager Ruth, and elderly French artist, Harry, recognise something profound in each other. They strike up a conversation that leads to regular meetings and takes them on a journey through their memories of traumatic times.
Harry has much to tell about his childhood beside the Canal St Martin in Paris. Ruth has stories about her mother’s childhood in the Yorkshire Dales and London.
How much has the stain of tragedy charged these memories and what use can be made of the pain? Looking back on her years with Harry, Ruth sees how shared memories – ecstatic or painful – can reshape the ways we value our lives and the lives of others.
The room rustled as the children looked around. They knew no one had been to the coast but they checked in case for liars, for the too-dumb to know the difference between the real world and the television, for the dreamers. A young boy yearns for a rabbit; a man battles for his father's love; a group of middle-class Australians find themselves in a newly renovated house; and an elderly refugee worries about his daughter's sea voyage.
Writer Catherine Cole uses her full powers of observation to craft these realistic, honest narrative nuggets of humanity. It’s often the case that a collection of short stories will feature a number of tales that hit the mark, but also ones that miss it by a mile. Catherine Cole’s collection Seabirds Crying in the Harbour Dark is very much lacking the ‘miss’, with each tale so expertly crafted that the author’s talent for observing the subtle nuances of human life is almost intimidating.
Australian private detective, Nicola Sharpe, discovers that trade union politics sometimes turn dirty.
Set in Sydney's historical harbourside suburb of Balmain, Dry Dock offers an intimate look at waterside industries in decline and the gentrification of a once working class area.
Cathy Cole's Dry Dock is set around the formerly working-class and now increasingly yuppified inner-Sydney suburb of Balmain.
As with the work of Marele Day, Jon Cleary and Peter Corris, the urban environment of Sydney is very much at the core of this novel.
Private investigator Nicola Sharpe finds herself embroiled in perceived union corruption and suspect goings-on involving building developments in Balmain...
Nicola Sharpe is on the trail of a murderer when a Balmain mother is murdered in a suburban park. Nicola is led through a maze of lies, embezzlement and racism as Sydney swelters towards Easter.
Reading Cathy Cole's Skin Deep makes it is clear why women writers choose crime over other literary models in order to explore political structures. And how, in a rocket ride of visibility, they have given the genre a new lease of life through the female voice, moving their private eyes from curiosity pieces to a kind of critical mass in the late 1980s.
This academic monograph offers students and readers of crime fiction an accessible examination of the genre - its history, stylistic developments and its popularity over the centuries.
Something for every armchair sleuth and mean streeter. Stylishly shifting between personal observation and critical commentary, Cole entertainingly lifts the lid on the dark world of crime fiction.
This academic monograph examines the continuing popularity of crime fiction and investigates its on-going relevance, ranging from socio-economic, feminist, moral and political concerns, but also gets down and dirty (and a lot more fun) when it looks into why some books work and some don't and the origin of the term "red herring."
French colonial Hanoi inspires this intimate examination of colonial and post colonial Hanoi. Catherine Danyers travels to Hanoi to learn more about her family history there when her great grandfather worked for the Eiffel Company and built the Domer Bridge. Catherine soon discovers all is not as it seems.
Family memories have transformed political truths into cosy domestic family memories. She will discover more about French colonial history than she expected, and with it a greater sense of her family's role in Vietnam before the battle of Dien Bien Phu.
By creating a shimmering and enigmatic narrative surface, Cole perhaps mimics the dangerous delicacy with which the D'anyers family has repressed and aestheticised its own colonialism. This sense of elusiveness and fragmentation is strikingly reinforced by the texture of Cole's book.
When Catherine Cole was a young woman she wrote to the acclaimed Australian poet, A D Hope, to thank him for his poems. The two became friends, Hope encouraging and mentoring Cole's artistic development.
The Poet Who Forgot examines their friendship and old age, especially Hope's decline into dementia and Cole's development as a writer.
Catherine Cole met the same man I had come to love a decade after I did, and her new book, The Poet Who Forgot, is a fond memoir of her mentor. In 1982, as an undergraduate, she wrote to Hope, whose poems she admired. He exemplified, she thought, the three attributes that Vladimir Nabokov deemed essential to a writer: 'storyteller, teacher, enchanter'. Hope replied to her letter with his usual hospitality, asking her to visit him if she should ever be in Canberra.
A series of essays about fashion and clothing in television, film, writing and exhibition/display. The book explores fashion in all its forms - examining trends in the representation of clothing from earliest times to the contemporary.
Google Books: This book examines the ways in which dress 'performs' in a wide range of contemporary and historical literary texts. Essays by North American, European and Australian scholars explore the function of clothing within fictional narratives, including those of film, television and advertising.
The book provides a groundbreaking examination of the interconnected worlds of fashion and words, providing perspectives from socio-cultural, historical and theoretical readings of fashion and text-based communication. Covering a variety of genres and periods, Fashion in Fiction analyzes fashion's role within a range of creative media, exploring the many ways that dress communicates, disrupts and modulates meaning across different cultures and contexts.
This anthology brings together exciting work from Vietnam and Vietnamese writers from around the world. It is literally 'from' Vietnam, with non Vietnamese writers also examining how Vietnam has inspired them through their short stories, essays, poetry.
Attractively produced, carefully edited, and -- to my ignorant ear, at least -- often beautifully translated, The Perfume River is a labour of love that is a credit to all involved in its production.
It reminds us of how correct Marcel Proust was, when he said that it is only through the agency of art that we leave our own selves and know what it is to be another.
But the anthology also suggests a limit to the insights even the most thoughtful and talented Western observer can bring to an alien culture.
© Catherine Cole
Mobile (Australia): 04 04 78 75 02
Mobile (France): 07 86 72 00 83
Catherine Cole, Professor of Creative Writing
Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts
University of Wollongong
New South Wales, Australia
Liverpool John Moores University
Catherine Cole on Amazon