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Albany Public Library’s Big Book Launch showcases talents of local authors

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Lucy Turner and Louise Sawle.
Camera IconLucy Turner and Louise Sawle. Credit: Kasey Gratton

The talents of Albany’s literary community were on display last Thursday at the Big Book Launch, a combined author event celebrating recently published works by local authors.

The Albany Public Library hosted a range of writers, from first-time authors to seasoned names.

Dianne Wolfer, known for her series that began with 2010’s Lighthouse Girl, spoke about her busy year releasing three new books, including the series’ final instalment, The Last Light Horse.

Shaun Reynolds, Elaine van der Stoep, Louise Sawle, Lucy Turner and Dianne Wolfer are introduced by Albany Public Library’s Dora Adeline.
Camera IconShaun Reynolds, Elaine van der Stoep, Louise Sawle, Lucy Turner and Dianne Wolfer are introduced by Albany Public Library’s Dora Adeline. Credit: Kasey Gratton

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She described the book as a “passion project” about Sandy, the only horse that returned to Australia following the First World War.

“It’s a book that I have wanted to write for a long time,” Wolfer told the audience.

“Sandy’s the only horse to return from World War I, and has been galloping around my head for years and years since I wrote Light Horse Boy and found out that out of 136,000 horses, only one came back.”

Author Dianne Wolfer spoke about the inspiration behind her latest releases.
Camera IconAuthor Dianne Wolfer spoke about the inspiration behind her latest releases. Credit: Kasey Gratton

Wolfer brought along some edible insects that were on display at the afternoon tea table, taking inspiration from her recent release about edible insect farmer Skye Blackburn-Lang.

Joining the insects on the table were an array of traditional Italian treats made by Lucy Turner, who spoke about her cookbook Angelina’s Cucina.

A treasure trove of family recipes, the book features traditional Calabrese dishes by Turner’s mother Angelina Trichilo, as well as her family’s story of migrating from Italy to Australia.

Diane Evers, Maree Dawes and Tony Evers.
Camera IconDiane Evers, Maree Dawes and Tony Evers. Credit: Kasey Gratton

“It’s a labour of love,” Turner said.

“A way to honour my parents, for making the sacrifices that they did to come out here leaving their families behind, not knowing a word of English, not knowing anyone.”

The audience also heard from illustrator Elaine van der Stoep and writers Shaun Reynolds and Louise Sawle, who shared the story behind her book On My Way, following her pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago walking trail in Spain.

Lizzie Stockdale and Rob Stockdale.
Camera IconLizzie Stockdale and Rob Stockdale. Credit: Kasey Gratton
Christina Hitchcock and Penny Simpson.
Camera IconChristina Hitchcock and Penny Simpson. Credit: Kasey Gratton
Peta Harrison and Melanie Harrington.
Camera IconPeta Harrison and Melanie Harrington. Credit: Kasey Gratton

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