Writings of the general word's body

Monday, March 17, 2008

Vanessa Gebbie's Book Launch

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Vanessa Gebbie, winner of the 2nd Annual Per Contra Prize (2008) and other writing awards too numerous to mention here just now, launched her short story collection, Words from a Glass Bubble at the Foundling Museum, London, on Tuesday March 11. It was my first time at the Foundling Museum, which started life in the 18th Century as a hospital for abandoned children. Its historic surroundings with priceless works of art was a fitting setting for the launch of a book by the author, who herself was given up for adoption at birth. The book is dedicated to the memory of a late friend, Jan Newton, who was also an adopted child. Newton’s husband was in the gathering at the Foundling Museum. As was Maggie Gee, whose blurb has pride of place on the front cover of Words from a Glass Bubble, above the image of the charmed girl hopping gaily down a bending road.
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Also there on the night was London-based Elaine Chiew who was a finalist of the Per Contra Prize this year. Vanessa Gebbie, Elaine and I – along with several other international writers – are participants in a collaborative fiction project across borders presently. But it was Vanessa’s night, and Elaine and I jostled discreetly and atimes not so discreetly with the literary crowd all night to get our own words in with the author; and to get our copies of the book autographed.
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Wine flowed with conversation but all fell silent when Gebbie got on a square podium in one end of the grand room to read from her book. An attentive, standing audience formed a crescent around her as she read the title story (a multiple award winner) , read all
the way through in 2 sessions.
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I left the museum after this first time knowing I’ll be revisiting sometime soon. On the tube home I forgot my current reading and dipped into Words from a Glass Bubble instead. The shortish Yellow Birds, Beaks Open, narrated by the friend of a drug addict, was finished before I emerged on the other end. And the bedside reading later that night, was the title story read by the author earlier.

Words from a Glass Bubble is published by
Salt. Vanessa Gebbie is the judge of the 2008 Fish One-Page Story Prize. Visit her blog.




1 comment:

Ovo said...

Great pictures and superb report.Congratulations to Vanessa.