Carol Major’s The Asparagus Wars is a journey through grief, illness and recovery. | Blue Mountain Gazette


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what’s up, Carol Major, Katoomba, Varuna, memory

Katoomba author Carol Major’s debut book is an emotional, confronting and witty journey through family, illness, grief and recovery. The Asparagus Wars is a memoir that covers, according to the author, “the battle to save my daughter from an aggressive form of muscular dystrophy, complicated by cancer”. Published by independent Australian publishing house Spineless Wonders, The Asparagus Wars will officially be released on October 1. The book is a story of personal mourning, while placing it in a context informed by world history and travel. The book pays particular attention to France. Not only did Major write about his desire to take his daughter, herself a writer and artist, to Paris as she battled her illness, but she actually wrote her memoirs buried in a region of France with a violent history. . “I wrote much of the manuscript in a stone cottage in the Marne, the site of some of the worst battles of World War I,” she told the Gazette. “I was on a mad expedition to find the graves of disgraced soldiers shot at dawn, trying to understand myself. Why haven’t I tried harder to find a cure? Why are life’s challenges often framed in the binary opposites of war: winners, losers, heroes, cowards and those like me who put down their guns and turned to magical thinking? During those weeks I wrote letters to my daughter in much the same way soldiers wrote from that terrible front over 100 years ago. Major makes connections between the trauma and violence of wars between nations and the personal suffering caused by chronic and terminal illnesses: the long-term effects, the impact on relationships and the comparability of the respective “battlefields”. She cites such influences as Helen McDonald and John Banville. The Asparagus Wars was shortlisted for the 2020 Beverly International Prize for Literature and received rave reviews from the Canberra Times and the Sydney Morning Herald, who described the book as “bright, at times humorous and often heartbreaking.” Finding humor in the midst of the tragedy was important to Major. “I wanted to write a book that moves away from binary judgments of good and evil, good and bad, a book that is both comical and heartbreaking, given that comedy offers a different perspective on what we consider serious. “she said. . Major was born in Scotland and raised in Canada, before settling in the Blue Mountains in 2008. Since then she has worked as a consultant at Varuna, The Writers House in Katoomba, providing mentorship and advice to numerous authors. which continued to publication success. Surprisingly perhaps, her own writing hasn’t always been her priority. “I didn’t start this project with the hope that it would be published, and I didn’t really support myself in terms of disseminating my manuscripts to the world,” she said. “But this time, I was overwhelmed with the need to speak out loud, for this story to be heard.” As for the title, The Asparagus Wars refers to a treatment Major recommended to his daughter with mixed asparagus. Major’s next project is to revert to a previously abandoned novel.

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Katoomba author Carol Major’s debut book is an emotional, confronting and witty journey through family, illness, grief and recovery.

The asparagus war is a memoir that covers, according to the author, “the battle to save my daughter from an aggressive form of muscular dystrophy, complicated by cancer”. Published by the independent Australian publishing house, Thornless wonders, The asparagus war will officially release on October 1.

The book is a story of accepting personal mourning, while placing it in a context informed by world history and travel. The book pays particular attention to France. Not only did Major write about his desire to take his daughter, herself a writer and artist, to Paris as she battled her illness, but she actually wrote her memoirs buried in a region of France with a violent history. .

“I wrote much of the manuscript in a stone cottage in the Marne, the site of some of the worst battles of World War I,” she told the Gazette. “I was on a mad expedition to find the graves of disgraced soldiers shot at dawn, trying to understand myself. Why haven’t I tried harder to find a cure? Why are life’s challenges often framed in the binary opposites of war: winners, losers, heroes, cowards and those like me who put down their guns and turned to magical thinking? During those weeks I wrote letters to my daughter in much the same way soldiers wrote from that terrible front over 100 years ago.

Major makes connections between the trauma and violence of wars between nations and the personal suffering caused by chronic and terminal illnesses: the long-term effects, the impact on relationships and the comparability of the respective “battlefields”. She cites such influences as Helen McDonald and John Banville.

The asparagus wars was shortlisted for the 2020 Beverly International Prize for Literature and received rave reviews from Canberra weather and The Sydney Morning Herald, who described the book as “bright, sometimes humorous and often heartbreaking”. Finding humor in the midst of the tragedy was important to Major.

“I wanted to write a book that moves away from binary judgments of good and evil, good and bad, a book that is both comical and heartbreaking, given that comedy offers a different perspective on what we consider serious. “she said. .

Major was born in Scotland and raised in Canada, before settling in the Blue Mountains in 2008. Since then she has worked as a consultant at Varuna, The Writers House in Katoomba, providing mentorship and advice to numerous authors. which continued to publication success. Surprisingly perhaps, her own writing hasn’t always been her priority.

“I didn’t start this project with the hope that it would be published, and I didn’t really support myself in terms of disseminating my manuscripts to the world,” she said. “But this time, I was overwhelmed with the need to speak out loud, for this story to be heard.”

As for the title, The asparagus wars refers to a treatment Major recommended for his daughter with mixed asparagus. Major’s next project is to revert to a previously abandoned novel.

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