11 September 2019

Joint author talk at Braidwood Library this Saturday morning

| Alex Rea
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ZT Quinn and Christina Marino in discussion at Bungendore library earlier this year. Photo: supplied

Zac T Quinn and Christine Marino will be giving a joint author talk at the Braidwood Library on Saturday – August 24 at 11 am.

Quinn will be talking about his new novel ‘Sanlundia’ and local Bungendore Librarian Christina Marino will be talking about her novel ‘Community’.

Although very different books they both explore concerns about the future and the consequences of poor decision making by governments and citizens alike.

Z T Quinn spent six months living and working on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, as a Support Worker and Project Manager supporting asylum seekers within the Australian Government operated Offshore Detention Centre.

That experience formed part of the inspiration for the fictional novel “Sanlundia”. An avid reader and observer of current affairs, history and politics, Z T Quinn has combined lessons from the past with first-hand experience to examine the future of asylum seeker policy around the world and the risk we take when we allow the strong to abuse the weak.

Author ZT Quinn. Photo: supplied

Sanlundia is about Maggie, who just wanted to help.

“That’s why she worked on the island of Sanlundia, despite the callous indifference of the guards, the bumbling absurdity of her managers, the infuriating stubbornness of the bureaucrats running the camps, and the pointless suffering of the detainees. That’s why she became determined to tell the truth. That’s why she suddenly disappeared, without a trace,” the synopsis reads.

“A journalist becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Maggie, desperate to understand the true enormity of events on Sanlundia, a remote tropical island invaded by five allied nations and turned into a dumping ground for asylum seekers, refugees, illegal immigrants and any foreigner deemed undesirable by their host governments.”

The story explores the relationship between power, alienation and empathy. It follows Maggie’s experience on the island, her ultimate fate, and considers the price we all pay when we allow the strong to abuse the weak.

Sanlundia and Community will be the topic for the author talk at Braidwood Library. Photo: ZT Quinn

Christina Marino, author of Community, was raised in Canada, where she was taught to hunt, fish, and love and respect the great outdoors from an early age.

This love, encouraged by studying Environmental Science at the University of Wollongong, led her to become increasingly concerned by climate change and governmental unwillingness to assist in repairing our broken ecosystems.

Her love of fibre began in her early 20s, as she awaited the birth of her second child. After maintaining a blog of short stories and vignettes for about a year, a friend encouraged her to write a novel combining her two loves – preferably an apocalyptic one. Christina accepted the challenge, and Community was born.

In Community, “Fifty years have passed since modern life came to a grinding halt. The cities have collapsed, taking modern luxuries and medicines with them,” the synopsis reads.

“In Australia, the population has declined sharply, and those remaining have fled to the hinterlands to live in small, roughly built Communities, fighting against the harsh elements for survival. Some communities thrive; others fail, and the difference can be a single years’ rainfall, or a poor choice of crop. People tend to stay put, tending their crops, their children, and their animals, hoping to last another year.”

Set in the south east of what was once New South Wales, this is a story of growth, of acceptance, and of exploration. It exposes the reality of life in close quarters, and the bonds and tensions which arise from being dependent on one another. It examines our environment, particularly the unique landscape of Australia, and the ramifications of ignoring climate change. Most importantly, it is a story about the strength of love.

Zac T Quinn and Christine Marino in conversation at Braidwood Library, Saturday, August 24 at 11 am. Braidwood Library, is on Park Lane, behind the Council Building on Wallace Street.

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