“Laughter in the Shadows” – beware of where writing can take you!

I'm signing books after the reading at the Schleitheim Library. picture from Andrea Wanner

I’m signing books after the reading at the Schleitheim Library. picture from Andrea Wanner

When I started writing “Laughter in the Shadows” I didn’t know what could happen when you publish a book. In fact, already while writing and then when seeking publishers and all that that entails, I’ve often said I would never write another book. But if I hadn’t written it, yesterday wouldn’t have happened. And that would have been a shame!

A theologian I know that is quite involved with women’s work, with refugees among other things, took a keen interest in my book and arranged for a reading at our local library. My uncle figured I was being pretty brave, to do a reading in English in a conservative Swiss village. It turned out to be a wonderful evening of sharing together. I was surprised myself who turned up, who reads and understands English around here, especially as most of the people I’d invited who I thought would enjoy the evening, were already booked out.

As a result of that evening I was invited to take part in an English Conversation group that meets regularly to practise their spoken English. We would use a few scenes out of my book as a discussion topic. It wasn’t a big group that met yesterday, but a special one. We were women from various walks of life. I was especially excited to have an Ethiopian woman take part. As we read, she would comment on the similarities or differences of Zambian culture with her own. In the introduction to my book, I say that this is what I wrote the book for – to foster understanding between different cultures. It happens at each reading I do, and here it was happening again, with the added bonus of people of both cultures together. Christine, one of the women in my book, taught us: “Start small; when you can do that well, grow bigger.”

A morning like this gives me the courage to take the next steps to bigger.

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2 Responses to “Laughter in the Shadows” – beware of where writing can take you!

  1. Helen says:

    so proud of you Marianne!

  2. Vivienne says:

    Very happy for you, dear friend.

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