“Once we have a galah narrator, can we ever go back?”
The moment Tracy Sorensen asked us this question, we realised the answer was no. We can’t ever go back. It might sound strange – a galah narrating the story? – but trust us, it works. Not only does it ‘work’, it gives the book something extra special.
Meet author Tracy Sorensen (left) – the wonderful lady who brought us The Lucky Galah. Tracy grew up in the middle of nowhere – literally. The nearest town was 500kms away, where the red desert met the glittering blue Indian Ocean. “It’s that kind of remote,” says Tracy. “That’s where I grew up.”
As a teen, Tracy couldn’t wait to get out of there, thinking life was elsewhere. So she lived in books. But now, as an adult, Tracy pines for the landscapes she grew up around. “I am pining for that landscape the whole time,” says Tracy. “I feel like I am permanently in exile from the place I should be.”
It was this upbringing, out in the middle of nowhere, that added such flavour to the setting of The Lucky Galah. The vivid landscapes combined with the quirky narrator named Lucky has given us one special book.
“Lucky emerged spontaneously out of my manuscript as I was writing it,” says Tracy. “I was writing in third person omniscient… then I just started writing a section from the point of view of the galah and I found myself crying. I was really moved by what I was doing and there was something unbelievably compelling to me about this different outsider voice. This very trapped and contained poignant little voice that nobody’s paying attention to but she’s noticing everything.”
“I guess she represents themes of feeling like an outsider and having stories to tell.”
This book makes you look at the world – and galahs! – differently. Tracy was drawn to Lucky’s story, to showing the world in a voice that was outside the normal human experience, and we’re so glad that she was. This is one story you won’t want to miss because, as Tracy put it: “She’s got her own story to tell.”
Read Booktopia’s Ben Hunter’s review here and while you’re at it, listen to Tracy’s podcast interview with us:
The Lucky Galah
It's 1969 and a remote coastal town in Western Australia is poised to play a pivotal part in the moon landing. Perched on the red dunes of its outskirts looms the great Dish: a relay for messages between Apollo 11 and Houston, Texas. Crouched around a single grainy set, radar technician Evan Johnson and his colleagues stare at the screen, transfixed, as Armstrong takes that first small step.
I was in my cage of course, unheard, underestimated, biscuit crumbs on my beak. But fate is a curious thing. For just as Evan Johnson's story is about to end (and perhaps with a giant leap), my story prepares to take flight...
About the Contributor
Bronwyn Eley is new to the book industry, having previously served in the Royal Australian Air Force & even spent some time as a barista until entering the exciting world of Booktopia. Books are her true passion. Bronwyn writes in her spare time, often has her face buried in a book and enjoys keeping fit (which she undoes by eating loads of chocolate) with Martial Arts and personal training. She can't answer what her favourite book is but she has a soft spot for The Host (Stephanie Meyer), Peter Pan (J.M Barrie) & Outlander (Diana Gabaldon). Fantasy, sci-fi and YA make up the majority of her bookshelves.