Podcast: Hope and Harlem with Alice Nelson

Podcast: Hope and Harlem with Alice Nelson

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This week Cheryl Akle is joined by Alice Nelson to discuss her latest book The Children’s House – a hope-filled and outstanding novel that weaves together shared stories of displacement and trauma. Together they discuss Alice’s journey to becoming a writer, and how her experiences of living and working in Harlem influenced her novel.

Podcast guest: Alice Nelson

After university in Australia, Alice Nelson lived and worked in Harlem, living in the brownstone on 120th Street in which The Children’s House is set. While studying in New York, she worked at a non-profit agency run by an order of nuns as a case worker with refugee and undocumented migrant families. Alice was named one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Best Young Australian Novelists for her first novel, The Last Sky. The novel also won the TAG Hungerford Award and was shortlisted for the Australian Society of Authors’ Barbara Jefferis Award and for The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award. Alice’s short fiction, essays and reviews have appeared in publications such as The Sydney Review of Books, The Asia Literary Review, Southerly Magazine and the West Australian Newspaper.
Alice now lives in Perth.

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                  Synopsis

                  Marina, 'the gypsy scholar' a writer and academic and her psychoanalyst husband Jacob were each born on Kibbutzes in Israel. Their families moved to America when their children were young. When they meet at a university in California, Marina is a grad-student and Jacob is a successful practitioner and teacher and has a young son, Ben, from a disastrous marriage. The family moves to a brownstone in Harlem, formerly a small convent and shelter run by nuns.Marina has a loving relationship with Ben but has not been able to conceive her own child. Constance, a young refugee from Rwanda, who knows the house from when the nuns occupied it, comes to rely on Marina's growing attachment to and care for her son, Gabrielle.After dropping out of college Ben is unmoored and comes to work at the local grocery store where he befriends a young woman who is an undocumented immigrant. After learning that Gizela, Marina's long disappeared mother has died, Jacob and his tight knit loving family, Ben and Alma, Constance and Gabrielle all join Marina in her mother's former home to celebrate Christmas, coming together, and the unusually structured family they have formed.Alice Nelson skilfully weaves together these shared stories of displacement and trauma into a beautifully told hope-filled and outstanding novel.
                  Alice Nelson
                  About the author

                  Alice Nelson

                  Alice Nelson is an award-winning author. She is the recipient of the T. A. G. Hungerford Award and the "Sydney Morning Herald" Best Young Australian Novelist of the Year award.

                  Books by Alice Nelson

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