Purple Prose introduces fifteen new works of non-fiction by Australian women writers, each responding to the colour purple. In their hands, purple takes on many meanings. From a story about King George’s coronation gown to pigeon fanciers and the Dockers’ Purple Haze, this is a book for women readers everywhere.
Purple Prose features new works by Amanda Curtin, Lily Chan, Hanifa Deen, Sarah Drummond, Lucy Dougan, Tracy Farr, Deborah Hunn, Natasha Lester, Toni Jordan, Anne Manne, Rosemary Stevens, Annamaria Weldon and Jacqueline Wright.
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‘He’ll grow out of it,’ my friends told me.
‘He’s so intelligent,’ my family said.
‘Your parents are mathematicians,’ people reminded me. ‘What did you expect?’
What did I expect? We expect many things of our children. Most of the time we are only aware of these expectations when something happens to make it impossible for them to be fulfilled.
When Ben is a baby, Rachel puts his behavioural quirks down to eccentricity. He likes to count letterboxes; he hates to get his hands dirty; loud noises make him anxious. But as Ben grows and his quirks become more pronounced, it becomes clear there is something else going on. When he is diagnosed with autism, Rachel must reconsider everything she thought she knew about parenting, about Ben, and about how best to mother him.
Reaching One Thousand charts her quest to understand autism and to build a new kind of relationship with her son. Along the way she explores her own childhood, discovering unexpected links between Ben’s experiences and her own. Before she can presume to tell Ben’s story, she realises, she must face difficult questions – questions about intimacy, trust, and what it means for a mother to write about her child.
Exquisitely written, this is a thought-provoking reflection on family and understanding and a tender love letter from a mother to her son.
Read some reviews for Reaching One Thousand.
Pub date: March 2012
Imprint: Black Inc.
Size: 234 x 153mm