The Call of the Litany Bird, by Cirencester writer Susan Gibbs, is to be released today, 11th April 2011. As a trained nurse, newly married to the son of the Governor of Rhodesia, Susan writes compellingly about bringing up a family on their farm in Matebeleland in the midst of the unfolding terror and growing number of atrocities, as rival factions battle for control in Rhodesia, soon to become Zimbabwe. On 31 March, she and Arthur Cunynghame of Loose Chippings Books http://www.loosechippings.org/ talked to Dr. Rona Laycock at Writers in the Brewery.
Susan explained that she began writing for her children, who retained few memories of those turbulent times, after coming across some old notes and press cuttings. It tells of the tensions and horrors of the bush war and the difficulties and pleasures of maintaining a reasonably normal life with Robert Mugabe in power and of the final straw that made the family leave their farm and lifestyle for an uncertain future in Britain. One of the passages she read told how, as a trained nurse, she was dealing with the aftermath of a terrorist atrocity and how her young son was traumatised by what he witnessed. She hoped her book would help the family come to terms with the past and found that writing it all down was a cathartic experience.
She originally thought of self-publishing for family and friends but was persuaded to take it further. She was fortunate to be introduced to Arthur, who after telling us how he became a publisher, explained why he is so enthusiastic about her writing, telling as it does of her family’s survival at a time when many of her friends and neighbouring farmers lost their lives.
After a break for drinks and chats, other local writers read from their work until we ran out of time. Susan is a regular attendee at Writers in the Brewery, and member of Catchword writers group, we are all thrilled to see the success of one of our own writers. A good evening and good luck to Susan!
Susan's book has a forward by Lord Carrington. Lord Hurd of Westwell describes the book as 'Deeply Moving'.
For more on Susan's book at LooseChippings http://www.loosechippings.org/Call_Of_The_Litany_Bird.html
Susan's book is available from Waterstones stores or online http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/susan+gibbs/lord+carrington/call+of+the+litany+bird/8393419/
from amazon as hardback http://www.amazon.co.uk/Call-Litany-Bird-Surviving-Zimbabwe/dp/190799100X
Other events coming up at Writers in the Brewery
- 28 Apr 2011 - Simone Mansell Broome
Previous Writers in the Brewery Evenings
- World Book Night at New Brewery Arts - Saturday 5 March 2011
- Anna Saunders at Writers in the Brewery - Thursday 23 February 2011
- John Richardson at Writers in the Brewery - Thursday 27 January 2011
- See Mac McFadden's Writers in the Brewery performance
- Roshi Fernando at Writers in the Brewery 25 November 2010
- Mac McFadden at Writers in the Brewery 28 October 2010
- Skip Walker at #WritersintheBrewery, editor of Wilts and Glos Standard