OZ LIT PROFILE #3 – SUSANNE GERVAY

Susanne Gervay is an iconic figure in the Oz world of children’s and YA literature. Tripe AAA – Author, Adninistrator and Advocate. Because I couldn’t put it any better, I am risking being sued for breach of copyright and stealing the bio direct from her web site:

I am a specialist in child growth & development, a teacher and lecturer, am a Director for The Hughenden, a literary hotel in Sydney, am deeply involved in writing organizations. I am on the Board of the NSW Writers Centre, co-head of SCBWI Australia and New Zealand, lead the Sydney Writers & Illustrators Network at the Hughenden and was awarded The Lady Cutler Award for Distinguished Services to Children’s Literature in 2007.

Impressed? I am! And if I could add something more, Susanne’s junior novel I Am Jack is the closest thing to a textbook on bullying management in Australian primary schools. I am Jack was performed (and toured) by The Monkey Baa Theatre For Young People in 2008.

I interrupted Susanne’s busy schedule to ask her my profile question:

1 The last children’s book you read (fiction or non-fiction) Nette Hilton’s Sprite Downberry which I loved because of its humanity – kids as carers, yet it was quirky, sad, happy and ultimately hopeful

2 If it wasn’t an Oz title, then the last Oz title

3 Name one favourite book from your childhood To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – deeply moved me and made me question who I wanted to be and what values I wanted to embrace.

4 Name one picture book that you love for the illustrations Mending Lucille by the deeply emotional illustrator Sarah Davis, written by Jennifer Poulter

5 What is your personal favourite among the books you have authored/illustrated That’s Why I Wrote This Song because I worked with my talented beautiful daughter on it -she wrote the songs and lyrics.

6 What book do you wish you had written – for love or money DH Lawrence Sons and Lovers – so deeply moving and passionate

7 If you could be a character in a book, who (or what) would you be Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice – she’s so deliciously flawed and wonderful

8 Do you have a favourite quote – from a book or life in general! Anything. ‘War is not brave, but men can be brave in war and life’ Quote from he Cave by Susanne Gervay

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