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Thistledown Seed: The Intersection of Three Perspectives

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City of Vincent Library

99 Loftus Street

Leederville, WA 6007

Australia

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Thistledown seed: the intersection of three perspectives

Louise Helfgott will discuss how she created narratives from three viewpoints over three time periods to reconstruct her family’s history in Thistledown seed:

· present day Poland

· a child growing up in Perth in the 1960s

· and a fictional narrative from her aunts who died in the Holocaust

The story begins when Louise is 11 and her brother returns from England tragically transformed. Her father is devastated because David was his beloved child prodigy. 42 years later, Louise travels to Poland to investigate the lives of her aunts, Gutka and Childa, hoping to uncover the secrets that bind and divide. She retraces her parents’ journey, but her travels raise more questions than answers. Why did her father hide his twin sister? Why did the young Gutka defiantly move to the line that led to her death? How has Louise’s life been shaped by her family’s history?

Part memoir and part fiction the story follows three narratives in three time periods. The three strands intersect and cross over each other connecting ancestral history with contemporary events.

The story also parallels sequences depicted in the Oscar-winning movie Shine, inspired by her brother’s story as a child prodigy and brilliant concert pianist before succumbing to a mental illness which devastated his life.

This is a Local History Centre event.

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City of Vincent Library

99 Loftus Street

Leederville, WA 6007

Australia

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