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The facing island : a personal history / Jan Bassett.

By: Bassett, Jan, 1953-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Carlton, Vic. : Melbourne University Press, 2002Description: 177 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0522850294.Subject(s): Bassett, Jan, 1953- | Historians -- Australia -- Biography | Cancer -- Patients -- Biography | World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal narratives, New ZealandDDC classification: 907.202 | 907.202 Summary: Includes personal reminiscences of the author, together with her experiences as she undergoes treatment for cancer, along with correspondence between her maternal grandmother and a New Zealand soldier serving in France in the First World War.Review: "In 1916 a young man called Wilson Tong enlisted in New Zealand. Soon after his troop ship sailed for Egypt, Signaller Tong placed a message in a bottle and dropped it into the sea. It washed up on a beach on Phillip Island, where a young woman called Edie Harris - Jan Bassett's maternal grandmother - picked it up. Thus began a correspondence that Edie treasured for the rest of her life." "After Edie's death in 1966, Jan Bassett discovered the box containing Wilson Tong's brave and spirited letters from the battlefields of France. Decades later, at a time of devastating personal crisis, she used them as a springboard for this imaginative and moving memoir." "In The Facing Island, each of Wilson's long-lost letters to Edie is followed by a contemporary, meditative letter from Jan herself to her beloved Nana. As we read, links and parallels emerge between the young man living with the fear of death in the trenches and the woman, eighty years later, facing her own premature death from breast cancer." "In her own 'letters', Jan reflects on her life - particularly her childhood on Phillip Island - and her own confrontation with mortality. Her story is courageous and moving, while the young man's letters stoically convey the adventure and horror of war."--BOOK JACKET.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

The discovery of a wonderful primary source--the five-year correspondence from Wilson Tong of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force to Edith Harris at Phillip Island--inspired the author to create this rich and unusual memoir, written as she came to terms with a diagnosis of cancer. As the author replies to the long-dead soldier's letters, links and parallels emerge between the young man living with the fear of death and the woman, 80 years later, facing her own death in middle age. She reflects on her life--particularly her childhood on Phillip Island--her work, and her own confrontation with mortality.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Includes personal reminiscences of the author, together with her experiences as she undergoes treatment for cancer, along with correspondence between her maternal grandmother and a New Zealand soldier serving in France in the First World War.

"In 1916 a young man called Wilson Tong enlisted in New Zealand. Soon after his troop ship sailed for Egypt, Signaller Tong placed a message in a bottle and dropped it into the sea. It washed up on a beach on Phillip Island, where a young woman called Edie Harris - Jan Bassett's maternal grandmother - picked it up. Thus began a correspondence that Edie treasured for the rest of her life." "After Edie's death in 1966, Jan Bassett discovered the box containing Wilson Tong's brave and spirited letters from the battlefields of France. Decades later, at a time of devastating personal crisis, she used them as a springboard for this imaginative and moving memoir." "In The Facing Island, each of Wilson's long-lost letters to Edie is followed by a contemporary, meditative letter from Jan herself to her beloved Nana. As we read, links and parallels emerge between the young man living with the fear of death in the trenches and the woman, eighty years later, facing her own premature death from breast cancer." "In her own 'letters', Jan reflects on her life - particularly her childhood on Phillip Island - and her own confrontation with mortality. Her story is courageous and moving, while the young man's letters stoically convey the adventure and horror of war."--BOOK JACKET.

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