Please welcome acclaimed local author Bernice Barry to my blog and the festival.
Originally from the Atlantic coast of England’s far southwest, Bernice moved to Margaret River in 2001 and has spent the last fourteen years creating a native garden in the bush. In 2011, she closed the door on a career in international curriculum innovation, as an adviser on the teaching of literacy, to focus on her lifelong interest in writing, literature and history.
In 2012, her short story ‘Mornings Like This’ won the first regional writers’ award in the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival short story competition. In March 2015, after eleven years of research, her biography of botanist and local settler Georgiana Molloy was self-published in Western Australia. In March 2016 the book was published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and New Zealand under the Picador imprint: ‘Georgiana Molloy: the Mind that Shines’.
Bernice will be participating in a session on SAT 4 June 5.20pm; Flowers at Home.
I recently caught up with Bernice and she discussed the meaning of Home: Where We Feel We Belong
“Some people can put a favourite book and a family photo on the bedside table and suddenly a motel room feels like home. Others need to live and grow and put down emotional roots in a place for years before the connections feel strong enough to use a word that’s so deeply associated with our sense of self. The details may be different for each of us but we all share some overlapping understandings of the concept of ‘home’.
When I first arrived in the southwest, nearly fifteen years ago, it was a strong feeling of having finally arrived home that made me want to stay and never leave. I’ve never felt so connected to any place before and I believe it was this same bond that captured Georgiana Molloy’s heart, mind and spirit when she arrived in 1830. She wrote about it far better than I do, her letters and diaries sharing in glorious words her love of the land, river, ocean, plants and trees around her. I hear from so many readers who recognise, in my book about Georgiana’s life, their own very personal bond with their West Australian home. I think, for all of us, it’s simple. Home is the place where we feel we belong.”