► Three writers on the Borders of Belonging: Brett Hetherington, Gloria Montero, Inez Baranay
Brett Hetherington speaks about rejecting the idea that a man needs to ‘be a (traditional) man’ in every situation; recognising that our own fathers were almost definitely deprived of learning from a model of a complete father; learning from women’s (typically) more honest expression of a greater range of emotions; taking heed of the fact that fathers are starting to become aware of their abilities to bring up children well; and watching out for ‘the happy game’ in ourselves and others we care about.
Gloria Montero asks how story-tellers are affected in this contemporary world where all manner of traditional borders have been broken down and where emigration has become a quintessential element. So many of us today--story-tellers and readers alike-- carry more than one culture, often two or three languages, and a background that transcends national barriers. Does this affect the stories that we are telling? Using examples from her work Gloria speaks of what this has meant to her as a writer.
Inez Baranay speaks about how her novels and stories can be seen as about people on the borders, and about the way she lives and writes on the borders, then interrogates what these borders are. She reads passages from her work as examples of writing on borders. The three writers question each other then invite questions from the audience.
Brett Hetherington is a parent and former foster-parent. He was a secondary school teacher for 15 years in Australia, Japan, England and Catalonia, northern Spain (where he has lived since 2006, teaching adults for the last three years.) Brett is a regular commentator for Australia’s ABC Radio where he reports on family and cultural life in Spain and his journalism has appeared in publications including The Guardian and Barcelona Metropolitan. He has also worked as a speechwriter and researcher for a Member of Parliament in Australia, specialising in education and social policies. Brett is currently a staff writer for Catalonia Today magazine. He lives with his partner Paula and teenage son Hugo.
Gloria Montero grew up in a family of Spanish immigrants in Australia’s North Queensland. After beginning to work in radio and theatre, she moved to Canada where she continued her career as writer, singer, actress, broadcaster, scriptwriter, TV-interviewer, producer of radio and film documentaries. Co-founder of the Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples in Toronto, she served as its Director until 1976. Following the success of her oral history The Immigrants she was invited to act as consultant on Immigrant Women to the Multicultural Department of the Secretary of State, Government of Canada. Since 1978 she has lived in Barcelona, writing and publishing in both English and Spanish. Her novels include titles such as The Villa Marini, Punto de Fuga, All Those Wars. Montero's theatre work, in particular the play Frida K., has been performed in countries around the world winning multiple awards.
Inez Baranay is a writer of Australian citizenship, immigrant background, transnational culture, cosmopolitan temperament. Her most recent books are the memoir Local Time a memoir of cities, friendships and the writing life, and a novel, Ghosts Like Us. In Australia, India, USA and Europe, Inez has lectured on writing issues and taught creative writing in universities, schools and community groups, given many readings and talks, been a guest at conferences, seminars and festivals, and been a resident at various international writers’ centres. She currently lives and teaches literature in Turkey.