Noela McNamara’s new book contains poems and stories about the interface between cultural groups in modern Australia. Noela traces present-day situations back to their roots and shows the way that the past impacts the present in the lives of people from different cultural backgrounds. Her background in Australian Indigenous Literature allows her to have a rare ability to conduct a sensitive and thoughtful exploration of sometimes difficult issues.
While Noela’s previously published work has been in the field of poetry, the new book includes compelling short stories about people from different backgrounds who are trying to find their place within society. These stories show, for example, how a father’s love of his homeland, Ireland, can instil in his daughter a love of his country, resulting in her leaving Australia and going to live in Ireland. Another story shows the gradual acceptance of their new home by a Cambodian refugee family who have escaped the cruelties of the Khmer Rouge and come to live in tropical north Queensland. The appeal of this story lies in its ability to allow the reader to feel their pain and rejoice in the Paradise in which they now find themselves.
The book was published by Jabiru Publishing and is available from the Jabiru publishing Book Store in the Poetry section.