'Two literary lives defined by storytelling and secrets
'As her mother Joan lies dying, Gabrielle Carey writes a letter to Joan’s childhood friend, the reclusive novelist Randolph Stow. This letter sets in motion a literary pilgrimage that reveals long-buried family secrets. Like her mother, Stow had grown up in Western Australia. After early literary success and a Miles Franklin Award win in 1958 for his novel To the Islands, he left for England and a life of self-imposed exile.
'Living most of her life on the east coast, Gabrielle was also estranged from her family’s west Australian roots, but never questioned why. A devoted fan of Stow’s writing, she becomes fascinated by his connection with her extended family, but before she can meet him he dies. With only a few pieces of correspondence to guide her, Gabrielle embarks on a journey from the red-dirt landscape of Western Australia to the English seaside town of Harwich in a quest to understand her family’s past and Stow’s place in it.
'Moving Among Strangers is a celebration of one of Australia’s most enigmatic and visionary writers.'
In Memory of Randolph (Mick) Stow (1935-2010)
Joan Carey nee Ferguson (1922-2009)
Truly there is in the world nothing so strange, so fathomless as love. Our home is not here, it is in Heaven; our time is not now, it is eternity; we are here as shipwrecked mariners on an island, moving among strangers, darkly. Why should we love these shadows, which will be gone at the first light? It is because in exile we grieve for one another, it is because we remember the same home, it is because we remember the same father, that there is love in our island.
The Girl Green as Elderflower
Ideal and loved voices
of the dead, or of those
lost to us like the dead.
Sometimes they speak to us in dreams;
sometimes the brain hears them in thought.
And, for one moment, with their sounds,
sounds come back from the first poetry of our lives-
like music at night, remote, fading away.