By Anna Blay
From the busy marketplaces of pre-war Krakow, Poland, to the horror of the Holocaust and the haven of Schindler's manufacturing unit, to the plain peace and protection of a suburban yard in Melbourne, Australia, this can be the tale of 2 sisters who miraculously survived. Their striking existence tales are interwoven with the early life and later stories of the narrator, Anna, daughter and niece of the 2 sisters, Hela and Janka. throughout the reminiscences and desires of those 3 voices we examine of worlds and other people perpetually misplaced, of shattered hopes, of the fragility of survival, and of the ability of the human spirit. 'Sister Sister' was once shortlisted for the Age ebook of the yr Award and the hot South Wales Premiers Award in 1998.
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Additional resources for Sister, Sister
The set consisted of a large four-poster bed and a chest of drawers. The one standing began to brush the hair of the one sitting. They both looked forward, out to the audience, into a mirror. He asked me to marry him, said the seated woman. I thought he might. What should I do? What do you want to do? He’s asked three other girls I know. They all turned him down. Why? He doesn’t like women. What do you mean? I mean what I mean. So why does he court these women? Why ask you to marry him if he knows that you know this?
Heat welled up in Fiona’s armpits and across her lower back. She almost got up to leave. Second row centre, Trudy Clarke had smuggled in a tape recorder. In her lap were a program and her copy of the play. Beside her sat Veronica. And on the other side of her daughter, her ex-husband, Patrick. As the house lights had dimmed and the spotlight had made an oval on the stage, the three of them had exchanged smiles as if to say, isn’t this exciting — the three of us at a play! Patrick had leaned in to Trudy and motioned for her not to forget to press record.
Privately, she suspected he was even funnier, even more himself in French. It was all the incentive she needed to be an A student throughout high school. Now, as an adult, her bilingualism seemed a strange by-product of a teenager’s wish to be deflowered by the pm. She’d grown out of Trudeau, but she still carried a gentle torch. And he was in town that night. To miss seeing him battle for re-election felt wrong. Toronto’s hockey arena was only a short streetcar ride away and she had thought about going to join the thousands of others.
Sister, Sister by Anna Blay