Australian author Susanne Gervay (visit her website and blog) has had a very busy year this year and social justice has been high on her agenda. She is one of the contributors to Fear Factor: Terror Incognito, an anthology of short stories featuring ten Australian and ten Indian writers, edited by Meenakshi Bharat and Sharon Rundle (Macmillan Australia/ Picador India, 2010). She has been writing about her travels to India and Kiribati, a “Pacific atoll nation drowning under climate change”. She has just launched Always Jack, the third book about Jack, following on from her wonderful I Am Jack and Super Jack. Most recently, Susanne was in South Korea for the Nambook-010 Fesival, the 5th Nami Island International Children’s Book Festival. She was there because she was taking part in Peace Story, a very special project. We are very grateful to Susanne for telling us all about it here. For those of us who couldn’t be there in person, Susanne’s description and photographs are definitely the next best thing!
In these troubled times with North Korea’s military attack on South Korea, the international publication of Peace Story is poignant and important. Twenty-two children’s authors and twenty-two illustrators from twenty-two countries engaged in an international cooperative to create a unique anthology, Peace Story, for young people. Respected academic author on Irish children’s literature Valerie Coghlan and Irish Laureate for children’s literature Siobhán Parkinson were the co-editors of Peace Story.
‘Peace Story’ was part of the Nami Island International Children’s Book Festival, South Korea which was first held in 2005 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen. It is a six-week bi-annual festival of children’s books, the environment and peace, featuring outstanding exhibitions of children’s books and illustrations from all over the world. Much loved Korean illustrator Kang Woo-hyon, President of the Nambook-010 International Committee headed the ‘Peace Story’ project with the support of the Nami Island Minn family who published and translated some of the stories, and hosted the authors and illustrators on Nami Island. It was supported by National YMCA Korea, UNICEF and UNESCO Korea, the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, and Nami Island the official sponsor of the IBBY Hans Christian Anderson Awards.
My Australian story ‘To East Timor with Love Australia’, illustrated by the award-winning Frané Lessac, opens the anthology Peace Story. Frané Lessac’s vibrant colours of bright pink bougainvillea and yellow-centred frangipanis create a visual representation of loss of homeland through war, but also hope for the future. (more…)