Telltale: reading writing remembering by Carmel Bird

cover image

Written during enforced Covid isolation, Carmel Bird’s approach to her memoir is original in taking key books from her shelves as starting points for reflections on her life. Lovers of books, writing, and libraries will enjoy this delving into books that have had an impact. Born 1940, some of her references may only ring with recognition for older readers, e.g. ‘Stories from Uncle Remus’, whilst others such as ‘Grimm’s fairy tales’ will be recalled by a wider audience. What comes across most vividly is the violence of the moral lessons contained in those early stories. Many readers will also be able to recall the scary story or film that impacted them as a young child.

Bruce Pascoe describes this volume most poetically as ‘a book about books that dreams you through a library of life’. And that is what it is, a reminiscence that may send the reader down their own memory lane. Or for readers of Carmel Bird’s books, there are fascinating insights into the origins and impetus for many of her works, and revelations about the art of writing.

Themes: Memoir, Books, Writing.

Helen Eddy