When Miles Franklin-shortlisted novelist Brenda Walker became sick she turned to two healers: doctors and books.
This is the story of how she recovered.
Packing her bag for hospital after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Brenda wondered which book to put in. As a novelist and professor of literature, her life was built around reading and writing. Books had always been her solace and sustenance, and now choosing the right one was the most important thing she could do for herself.
In Reading by Moonlight, Brenda describes the five stages of her treatment and how different authors helped her through an arduous recovery. Along with insightful introductions to the work of writers like Dante, Tolstoy, Nabokov, Beckett and Dickens, Brenda show how the very process of reading – surrendering and then regathering yourself – echoes the process of healing.
Reading by Moonlight guides, reassures, throws light on dark places, and finds beauty in the most fearful of illnesses. It affirms that reading can be essential to life itself.
'A work of rare richness and unending generosity of spirit – a beautiful meditation on the gift of reading death and the spirit of survival.'
ALEX MILLER, THE AGE
'Brenda Walker's account of the healing power of books is a gift . . . beautifully written, heartfelt.'
SUSIE BURGE, HARPER'S BAZZAR
'Irresistible . . . A many-layered reading experience.'
'Instructive, uplifting and palliative. And what more can one look to a book for?'
JAMES GRIEVE, CANBERRA TIMES
About the Author
Brenda Walker is the author of the novels Crush, One More River, Poe's Cat and The Wing of Night. The latter won the 2006 Nita B. Kibble Award and the 2007 Asher Literary Award. Reading by Moonlight, her memoir of reading and healing, won the 2010 Victorian Premier's Award for Non-Fiction. Brenda Walker teaches at the University of Western Australia.