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Lines of Wisdom

September 17, 2011

Lines of Wisdom

Young Writers, Old Stories, Timeless Encounters

Published by Affirm Press

“Tom Jones set out from Melbourne one crisp morning in the late 1940s, with a plan to work his way, odd-jobbing, around Australia. He jumped off the train in Shepparton to do some fruit picking – though, in the end, he only ever picked a few plums. But alighting where he did, set off a chain of events that changed the course of his life.  No, he did not become Tom Jones, the open-shirted hairy chested singer of It’s Not Unusual- but he did indeed snare himself a lady……..

So begins the chapter about my father.  Lines of Wisdom was published by Affirm publishing in 2008.  Each chapter  is devoted to a particular senior person who has been interviewed by a younger writer. Seventeen young authors  from all over Australia, were selected from more than 100 submissions. My father was interviewed by his grand-daughter, my daughter Lisa Dempster.   The writers are a very diverse group as are the seniors who were interviewed. The stories outline the extraordinary lives these ordinary people have lived.  The result is an extremely heartwarming, sometimes sad, often funny, collection of personal stories, that probably would never otherwise have been told.

Each person profiled was photographed by Sydney photographer Oliver Strewe. His black and white photos are both moving and very beautiful.

My Dad’s story is titled The Footy Player.  In other chapters we meet The Beautician, who smuggled her family out of communist Hungary; The Poet, who was born in Lebanon and began writing poetry in Arabic at age 13; The Survivor, a child of the Holocaust; The Memory Keeper; The Revhead; The Writer; The Patriot; The Farmer.  These are just a few of the stories in this book.

An extract from the Introduction, by Martin Hughes, publisher –” Lines of Wisdom is a heart-to-heart between people at opposite ends of the path. In the company of strangers, we hope you will discover something new about yourself and become inspired to learn more about the ones you hold dear. Even to seek answers to questions you haven’t thought of yet”

Of course I hold the story of my father in this book, dear to my heart. But other than my father, this  a wonderful collection of stories which I would recommend to anyone as a must read. Hopefully it will also inspire others to enquire about the personal experiences of their family members before the stories disappear, never to be told.

This book is diverse, informative, and beautifully produced – The Age

My Dad - Thomas Lloyd Jones

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