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Issue Details: First known date: 2008... 2008 Bird
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'To her lovers and friends, Anna Davidoff was a mystery. Beautiful, charismatic, irresponsible yet disarming; famous, in a way, but ultimately unknowable. To her daughter, she is no less an enigma even now, thirty years after her death. Of course Ana-Sofia knows the stories of Anna's unlikely transformations. How the young post-war refugee from a devastated Soviet Union became a Hollywood starlet, a muse to jazz greats, a friend of the Beats and along the way a heroin addict. How later, ordained as a Buddhist nun, she died alone in a Himalayan cave at the age of forty-three. The stories, too, are famous. But now Ana-Sofia is the same age Anna was when she died. Successful, content, single in New York City and hopeful of new love. And Anna has begun to haunt her. Based on a true story, Sophie Cunningham's compelling new novel sets an exquisite depiction of the equivocal bond between mother and daughter against the traumas and social upheavals of the mid-twentieth century."--(Publisher's blurb)

Notes

  • Dedication: For Sari.
  • Author's note: This novel was originally inspired by the lives of Zina Rachevsky, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe, and the monastry they founded just out of Bodanath in the erly 1970s, Kopan Monastery.

    However while the lives of my characters, Lama Gyatsho and lama Dorje Rinpoche, have echoes of the extraordinary lives of Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and their teachings - either read or attended - inspired the voice of those characters, my fictional characters; my fictional characters are just that: fictional. Similarly, while Anna Davidoff's final years have moments that are similar to some of those in the final years of Zina Rachevsky, she is a fictional and invented character. All other characters in this novel are entirely fictional.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Aborigines, Sharks and Australian Accents : On Australian Writing Jo Case , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kill Your Darlings , July no. 6 2011; (p. 41-51)

'Jo Case talks to influential writers, publishers and critics about that often frustrating definition of 'Australia' literature.' (Editor's abstract)

This Year's Work in Fiction 2008-2009 Susan Midalia , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Westerly , July vol. 54 no. 1 2009; (p. 51-64)

— Review of The Pages Murray Bail , 2008 single work novel ; The Lieutenant Kate Grenville , 2008 single work novel ; The Spare Room Helen Garner , 2008 single work novel ; The Anatomy of Wings Karen Foxlee , 2006 single work novel ; Boy On A Wire Jon Doust , 2009 single work novel ; The Sinkings Amanda Curtin , 2008 single work novel ; Bird Sophie Cunningham , 2008 single work novel ; One Foot Wrong Sofie Laguna , 2008 single work novel ; Avenue of Eternal Peace Nicholas Jose , 1989 single work novel ; Life in Seven Mistakes Susan Johnson , 2008 single work novel ; The Steele Diaries Wendy James , 2008 single work novel ; Butterfly Sonya Hartnett , 2009 single work novel ; Dissection Jacinta Halloran , 2007 single work novel ; Fugitive Blue Claire Thomas , 2008 single work novel ; Sweet Tracy Ryan , 2008 single work novel ; The Virtuoso Sonia Orchard , 2009 single work novel ; Ransom David Malouf , 2009 single work novel ; The Good Parents Joan London , 2008 single work novel ; Vertigo : A Pastoral Amanda Lohrey , 2008 single work novella ; The Boat Nam Le , 2008 selected work short story ; New Australian Stories 2009 anthology short story ; The Slap Christos Tsiolkas , 2008 single work novel
Forms of Hunger and Hysteria : Recent Australian Fiction Kalinda Ashton , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Autumn no. 194 2009; (p. 93-96)

— Review of The Slap Christos Tsiolkas , 2008 single work novel ; Vertigo : A Pastoral Amanda Lohrey , 2008 single work novella ; Wanting Richard Flanagan , 2008 single work novel ; Bird Sophie Cunningham , 2008 single work novel ; Disquiet Julia Leigh , 2008 single work novella

Ashton discusses narrative technique and the notion of family in Tsiolkas's The Slap, Cunningham's Bird, Flanagan's Wanting, Leigh's Disquiet, and Lohrey's Vertigo. The review spends most time on The Slap, and Ashton argues that the novel's focus on family should be seen not as a flight from politics, but as 'a flight to the politics of the middle-class family' (93).

Untitled Dominique Wilson , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Wet Ink , Summer no. 13 2008; (p. 65)

— Review of Bird Sophie Cunningham , 2008 single work novel
Books Fiction Bernadette Condren , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 12 - 13 July 2008; (p. 22)

— Review of Bird Sophie Cunningham , 2008 single work novel
Untitled Esther Van Doornum , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , April/May vol. 87 no. 8 2008; (p. 33)

— Review of Bird Sophie Cunningham , 2008 single work novel
Daughter's Search for Lost Dharma Mum Liam Davison , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 7-8 June 2008; (p. 13)

— Review of Bird Sophie Cunningham , 2008 single work novel
A Very Roundabout Path to Enlightenment Dorothy Johnston , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 7-8 June 2008; (p. 30-31)

— Review of Bird Sophie Cunningham , 2008 single work novel
Mommie, I Hardly Knew You Judith Armstrong , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 14 June 2008; (p. 33)

— Review of Bird Sophie Cunningham , 2008 single work novel
Tales Tap Mother Lode Patrick Allington , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 21 June 2008; (p. 9)

— Review of Bird Sophie Cunningham , 2008 single work novel ; Walking to the Moon Kate Cole-Adams , 2008 single work novel
Mysteries in Full Flight to Free Fall Sally Pryor , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 7 June 2008; (p. 12)
A Life Less Imaginary Sophie Cunningham , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 21 June 2008; (p. 20)
Aborigines, Sharks and Australian Accents : On Australian Writing Jo Case , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kill Your Darlings , July no. 6 2011; (p. 41-51)

'Jo Case talks to influential writers, publishers and critics about that often frustrating definition of 'Australia' literature.' (Editor's abstract)

Last amended 12 Sep 2008 11:30:54
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