ANU/Canberra Times. Meet the Author. Pip Williams
Pip Williams, will be in conversation with Karen Viggers on Pip’s new novel, The Bookbinder of Jericho, set in the same world as her international bestseller The Dictionary of Lost Words.
In 1914, when the war draws the young men of Britain away to fight, it is the women who must keep the nation running. Two of those women are Peggy and Maude, twin sisters who work in the bindery at Oxford University Press in Jericho. Peggy is intelligent, ambitious and dreams of studying at Oxford University, but for most of her life she has been told her job is to bind the books, not read them. Maude, meanwhile, wants nothing more than what she has. She is extraordinary but vulnerable. Peggy needs to watch over her.
When refugees arrive from the devastated cities of Belgium, it sends ripples through the community and through the sisters’ lives. Peggy begins to see the possibility of another future where she can use her intellect and not just her hands, but as war and illness reshape her world, it is love, and the responsibility that comes with it, that threaten to hold her back.
In her new novel, Pip Williams thoughtfully explores another little-known slice of history seen through women’s eyes. Evocative, subversive and rich with unforgettable characters, The Bookbinder of Jericho is a story about knowledge – who gets to make it, who gets to access it, and what is lost when it is withheld.
Pip Williams was born in London, grew up in Sydney, and now lives in the Adelaide Hills. She has spent most of her working life as a social researcher, studying what keeps us well and what helps us thrive. She is the author of One Italian Summer, a memoir of her family’s travels in search of the good life and The Dictionary of Lost Words, based on her original research in the Oxford English Dictionary archives, and which has sold over 260,000 print copies.
Canberra veterinarian, Karen Viggers, is the international best-selling author of four novels: The Stranding, The Lightkeeper’s Wife, The Grass Castle and The Orchardist’s Daughter, critically praised for their evocative portrayal of Australian people and landscapes.
Associate Professor Amanda Laugesen, Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre, ANU, will give the vote of thanks.
This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop. Books will be available for purchase on the evening in the Cultural Centre foyer. Pre-event book signings will be available from 5.30pm, and available again after the event.
• Registration is required for this event.
• Accessible parking spaces are available around campus should you require them.
• To help keep everyone safe, please ensure that you are familiar with, and follow, the advice from ACT Health regarding COVID-19.
• If you do not feel well, please refrain from attending this event.
• A podcast will be made available after the event.
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