The Third Chopstick is a memoir about my unique relationship to the Vietnam War. There are three parts to this story. Firstly, I was a passionately engaged protester from 1965 to 1975. Secondly, I first visited Vietnam in 1995 and have continued to do so ever since, sometimes taking tour groups on trips that focus on both Vietnamese culture and the history and after-effects of the war. Thirdly, in 1997, I sought out Vietnam veterans and asked to be allowed to listen to their stories – what I learned has become integral to my emotional experience and cognitive understanding of the war. Obsessed by the topic of the war, I wrote on and off over a period of 22 years, placing pieces of this complex story into different patterns. Ultimately, I settled for a rough chronology as the structure for describing my unflagging interest in this part of our history. For the veterans and the older Vietnamese, those who remember the war, a word or two is usually sufficient to fan the coals of memory into animated discussion. Many people who weren’t directly involved in the war also have their own ‘Vietnam memories’. Ginninderra Press is publishing The Third Chopstick which is due for release in March 2020.

TESTIMONIALS for In My Mother’s Hands

“In My Mother’s Hands is a coruscating and unsentimental account of an ordinary family beset by extraordinary circumstances, conveyed with love but never self-pity. ”

Mandy Sayer, Anne Summers Report

“In My Mother’s Handsis an extraordinary memoir … Sympathy, pity, confusion, anger and love radiate from her prose, as fresh and raw as they must have been 60 years ago. [It] is a gripping, disquieting account of a family held hostage to mental illness.  ”

Kylie Mason, Newtown Review of Books

“I can’t think of any book I’ve read in recent years which I found more absorbing … The whole book is brilliant …”

Frank Bongiorno, ANU historian

“… this is a humbling book. I found it difficult to get it out of my head days after reading it.”

Sheila Fitzpatrick, Australian Review of Books

“In My Mother’s Handsis an engaging and compelling book. I literally couldn’t put it down. Like all great books, the reward comes not just in the act of reading, but in the feelings and contemplations which follow.”

David Roberts, UNE historian

“The very first sentence – There is in my family a grave that was never visited- enthralled me. What an amazing opening to a family story. An opening that goes to the heart of absence and makes it present. So present.”

Maryla Rose, psychotherapist