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An Evening with Eleanor Limprecht - The Coast Book Launch

An Evening with Eleanor Limprecht - The Coast Book Launch

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Books Kinokuniya

The Galeries Level 2

500 George Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

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Join Eleanor Limprecht as she chats to Andrew Pippos about her latest novel, The Coast.

About this event

Join us for an evening with Eleanor Limprecht as launches her newest book, The Coast, a heartbreaking and soul-lifting universal story of love, courage, sacrifice and resilience. Eleanor will be chatting to fellow author Andrew Pippos.

Alice is only nine years old in 1910 when she is sent to the feared Coast Hospital lazaret at Little Bay in Sydney, a veritable prison where more patients are admitted than will ever leave. She is told that she's visiting her mother, who disappeared one day when Alice was two. Once there, Alice learns her mother is suffering from leprosy and that she has the same disease.

As she grows up, the secluded refuge of the lazaret becomes Alice's entire world, her mother and the other patients and medical staff her only human contact. The patients have access to a private sandstone-edged beach, their own rowboat, a piano and a library of books, but Alice is tired of the smallness of her life and is thrilled by the thought of the outside world. It is only when Guy, a Yuwaalaraay man wounded in World War I, arrives at The Coast, that Alice begins to experience what she has yearned for, as they become friends and then something deeper.

Filled with vivid descriptions of the wild beauty of the sea cliffs and beaches surrounding the harsh isolation of the lazaret, and written in evocative prose, The Coast is meticulously researched historical fiction that holds a mirror to the present day.

Eleanor Limprecht says: ‘When I was researching my second novel, I learned there had been a small lazaret (leprosy colony) at Little Bay to the south of Long Bay prison. I was fascinated and visited the Coast Hospital Cemetery on the northern side of Botany Bay, which is home to as many as 2000 graves. It is a beautiful and eerie place to visit, as many of the gravestones are illegible, and some only have first names or Chinese characters. I learned that the gravestones with only first names were leprosy patients because they never went by their given names after entering the hospital, so their families would not be associated with their contamination. I knew I had to discover more about these people whose lives have been erased from history. I’ve been writing The Coast for four years and it involved lots of visits to medical archives, a great deal of reading about leprosy and history, and some special trips, notably one to Peel Island in Queensland only accessible by boat and closed to the public.’

7pm arrivals for 7:05pm start

**PLEASE NOTE: Fitted face masks are mandatory when attending author events in the bookstore. If you are in need of a mask, one of our staff members can provide you with one.**

Thank you for your co-operation.

Photo credit: Louise Hawson

About the author:

Eleanor Limprecht was born in Washington, DC and grew up in the United States, Germany and Pakistan before moving to Australia in 2002. She is the author of The Passengers (Allen & Unwin, 2018), Long Bay (Sleepers Publishing, 2015) and What Was Left (Sleepers Publishing, 2013, shortlisted for the ALS Gold Medal).

Her short fiction and essays have been published in various places including Best Australian Stories, Sydney Noir, Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings and The Big Issue. She's been the recipient of various residencies, scholarships and grants including from the Australia Council, Copyright Agency and the Australian Society of Authors. Eleanor works as a lecturer in Creative Writing at UTS.

About the author:

Growing up, Andrew Pippos was a regular visitor to his family's café in regional Australia. The Pippos's Café De-Luxe operated in the remote New South Wales town of Brewarrina for more than eighty years. Andrew's early experiences at the Café De-Luxe laid the foundation of his work as a writer. His relatives-who emigrated from the island of Ithaca, home of the hero Odysseus-would regale him with their favourite stories from Greek mythology, and over the years, his love of legends evolved into a love of literature, which led Andrew to tell stories of his own.

The compelling role of the Greek-Australian café within modern Australian identity is increasingly documented in popular culture and history books alike. While sadly few exist now, for much of the second half of the twentieth century these cafés could be found on urban shopping streets and in rural country towns. They represented a new Australian zeitgeist and symbolised every-day multiculturalism. The Greek-Australian cafe milieu gave Andrew his earliest sense of community.

Lucky's is Andrew Pippos's debut novel. A former journalist, Andrew has a doctorate and lectures in Creative Writing at UTS. He lives in Sydney's inner west.

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Books Kinokuniya

The Galeries Level 2

500 George Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

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