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“Hello my name is Camilla Noli and I’m going to read from my first novel The Mother’s Tale.
Let me tell you how Daniel and I met. There are not many people who know the truth of it. It was at a gathering – somebody’s birthday, I think.
Apart from the host, I knew no one. Daniel was there with a woman. He was the centre of a group that I approached. I remember noticing how his hair flopped over his eyes and how he kept having to push it back. I remember how he stood with his back to the sun and how, as he raised his head from his drink, his grey eyes met mine and I found myself caught in them, a small insect in an orbed web.
Daniel welcomed me into the circle. I glanced up and sideways at him. I could see that he was strong and steady. He looked as if he would be able to handle all that I am. I remembered my father; sometimes he had looked at me in the same way as Daniel had, as if I was the only creature in the world who truly mattered. Daniel was the first man I’d met since my father died who made me feel that way.
Later in the day, when Daniel’s girlfriend was not around, I approached him again. He was sitting on a stone wall. I sat next to him. I found myself leaning towards him. I was a small metal filing experiencing the pull of the North Pole. I wondered if I had a chance with him.
The night after Daniel and I decided to marry he presented me with a box. I opened the lid. The interior was lined with maroon velvet and inside was something that resembled a twisted figure of eight. It had been made by joining together two pieces of broad, stiff tape, which had been given a half twist and linked.
‘What is it?’ I asked.
‘It’s a Möbius strip,’ Daniel said. ‘Run your finger over the edge.’
Intrigued I did as he asked. The band had only one edge; I could run my finger over it for eternity.
‘That’s what we are now,’ Daniel explained. ‘Two people joined together to form one entity with a single purpose. I want you to keep this and to remember, that’s what we are now.’
Tears welled in my eyes. I had never been given anything so wonderful. ‘Thank you,’ I said. ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’
I knew what this meant, that no woman other than me would ever have him again.
That was before Cassie, of course.”
ABOUT CAMILLA NOLI:
Camilla writes predominately adult fiction and has had two novels published in Australia, the UK and Italy. (Still Waters/The Mother’s Tale and Broken Fences). She is currently working on her third adult novel which, like the first two, explores dark psychological themes. She has also written the first of a young adult series, which she is looking forward to developing further.
“I first attended Varuna in 2003 when I was selected for a development program to work with Peter Bishop. In 2004 I received a Varuna/Harper Collins award and spent 10 days at Varuna working with an editor from Harper Collins on my first novel. In around 2005 or 2006, I spent another week at Varuna working on a second novel. In 2010 I also spent a week in residence at Varuna working on a young adult novel. I am looking forward to returning in December 2011 to work on my third adult novel.” Camilla Noli
Still Waters/The Mother’s Tale (first published 2008)
Broken Fences (first published 2009)
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