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ECU PhD Graduate releases debut novel

Tuesday, 06 September 2016

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ECU PhD Graduate Rashida Murphy launched her debut novel, The Historian's Daughter, at her book launch on Wednesday, 31 of August 2016.The launch was held at at the Boat Shed on the University of Western Australia’s Crawley campus by author and editor, Dr Amanda Curtin. Both Amanda Curtin and Rashida Murphy are Adjunct Lecturers at Edith Cowan University.

Rashida completed her PhD in Writing at Edith Cowan University in 2015. Her novel, The Historian's Daughter, was written as part of Rashida's PhD which was supervised by Dr Ffion Murphy and Dr Marcella Polain.

Dr Amanda Curtin describes, "The Historian’s Daughter has depths and layers that resist any attempt to classify it. It is indeed a feminist novel. Hannah’s childhood world is patriarchal, where women’s voices are silenced within the family and within society. It is also post-colonial, portraying an India that bears the traces and the consequences of a most complex colonial past and the novel reaches into a world where extremism and violence can break from the margins and make a refugee of anyone. The novel is written with great compassion and intelligence, with a sensibility that the personal is political.”

The launch had a great response and Rashida said, “Writing the novel as part of a PhD at ECU was a privilege for which I am truly grateful.” Rashida also appeared at the New Norcia Writers Festival ahead of the release of her book, on Saturday, 13 August, and will be appearing at the Avon Valley Readers & Writers Festival which runs from Friday, 9 to Sunday, 11 September.

The Historian's Daughter: (Back cover blurb)

“In an old house with ‘too many windows and women’, high in the Indian hills, young Hannah lives with her older sister Gloria; her two older brothers; her mother – the Magician; a colourful assortment of aunts, blow-ins and misfits; and her father – the Historian. It is a world of secrets, jealousies and lies, ruled by the Historian but smoothed over by the Magician, whose kindnesses and wisdom bring homely comfort and all-enveloping love to a ramshackle building that seems destined for chaos.

And then one day the Magician is gone, Gloria is gone, and the Historian has spirited Hannah and her brothers away to a new and at first bewildering life in Perth. As Hannah grows and makes her own way through Australian life, an education and friendships, she begins to penetrate to the heart of one of the old house’s greatest secrets – and to the meaning of her own existence.”

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