Professor Alistair Thomson’s new book Moving Stories: an intimate history of four women across two countries (UNSW Press) has been short-listed for ‘The Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW Award’ at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.
“The author has closely collaborated with four British women migrants to Australia in the 1960s and 70s. Based on interviews, and the women’s letters, photographs and writing, Thomson explores their experiences, illuminating forgotten aspects of lives when women were ‘tied to the kitchen sink’.
They were part of a generation which was bound by childcare, housework, family, married life and suburban friendships, struggling to widen their horizons by entering the workforce. The book highlights how for some, the trial of migration can be too hard to bear, resulting in returns to the country of origin.
In Moving Stories the impact of migration on their lives, and the role which Australia played in providing liberating opportunities, is illuminated in fascinating detail. A special strength of the work is the ethos and atmosphere of those days, as well as the excellent concluding analysis of the nature of memory and recollection.”
Moving Stories was recently awarded the 2012 Oral History Association Book Award for international themes, which was presented at the US OHA annual conference in Cleveland Ohio in October.
“The committee members were tremendously impressed by the ability of your work to find a good balance between humanizing stories within a socio-historical context and providing significant analysis of different forms of storytelling through personal correspondence, the use of photographs, and individual oral histories”
Alistair Thomson is Professor of History at the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies