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Belonging [Signed] Huggan, Isabel. Published by Bantam, Sydney When I graduated from university, I got a job in publishing, and later on took up high school teaching as a means of supporting myself.
However, by my mid-twenties I had begun to write short fiction as well as poetry, and in my thirties, by then working for a daily newspaper, took my writing seriously enough to send stories to literary magazines. My first book, The Elizabeth Stories , was published by Oberon Press when I was forty years old, and since then I have had a sense of myself as a writer. Let me put this another way: for many years, I would describe myself as a teacher who also writes, now I see myself as a writer who also teaches.
You have the sense of belonging.Enjoy a fully equipped relaxing house by the sea
Initially, it was Carol Shields, who used an autobiographical essay of mine in the first Dropped Threads anthology, which she edited with Marjorie Anderson. Not only did Carol herself like the way I expressed my thoughts about aging, several readers wrote to tell me that I had spoken directly to their own concerns. There is something tremendously exciting and energizing about contact with readers — the feeling that words you have written have had meaning for someone else — and I think this experience gave me the courage to write directly about my own life, as if I were having a real conversation with readers.
I discussed my plan to write Belonging with Carol in our ongoing correspondence, and she was encouraging and supportive, reading most of the book in draft form as I was writing it — often, as part of our letters. Right now, I feel deeply sad at the loss of such a wonderful friend, although I can look ahead to the comfort of rereading her books and in that way hearing her wise, warm voice again.
I have been fortunate to have a wide variety of experiences, particularly during the last sixteen years of living abroad. While always remaining open to the surprising joys of chance, my experiences have taught me a great deal and have shown me how to look for patterns and make connections. Also, I think I felt that some of my true stories were just as interesting or useful for readers as fictional stories, and that they deserved to be told. Oh, absolutely! Discussion is what this book is for — my life stories are meant to get readers thinking about their own life stories.
A book club might have a very lively discussion about where members have "come from" and whether or not travel has played a part in their lives. Those members who have stayed in one place might have a great deal to offer those who have moved from town to town or country to country.
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Each person might relate a relevant anecdote, and mention whether something in Belonging has triggered the memory or is similar in some way. An interesting discussion might ensue from such a beginning. Other interesting discussions may come out of exploring specific themes in Belonging. In many ways, the book is about making choices, particularly about the choices one makes in a marriage. The discussion could be expanded by reference to other books, of course. Which brings me to another potentially interesting area to explore. A book club might decide to read work by these authors.
I think this is a great way to expand and deepen appreciation of any book. How meaningful are these snippets of poetry that stay lodged in our brains? Why are they there, what can we learn from them?
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Who are the people who have taught us the most important lessons about life? The house was lovely and the surroundings breathtaking! The house had a lot of charm and all the facilities we needed and the tour of the winery was great. We warmly recommend this property for a great Italian countryside holiday! Arrived to this amazing place once again. This time for our wedding,which was fantastic because all help from Livia and her family.
We'll highly recommand to others who just want a relaxing holiday, or getting married!! Also the local wine is fantastic. Must try!! We're planning to go back next year with family. What a lovely time we had! After a very busy week cruise this house was the perfect place to get the rest we needed.
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The house itself is a joy for the eye! Every little corner has something special and the kitchen I would love to move home.
Very authentic and a fine atmosphere. The huge garden with terrific pool with poolchairs is something to come back for. Unfortunately the wine tasting was not possible at a suitable time for us, but that was made up for by a beautiful homecooked garden dinner at the other end of the valley! Really special! Lovely surroundings and small medieval villages. Would love to come back one day. The most beautiful traditional house in the perfect setting overlooking the vineyard and Orticoli. A lovely welcome by the owner plus a basket of incredible tomatoes and figs was the perfect start to our 10 days.
The pool was excellent as was the gym and the wine tasting. This was a great base from which to explore Umbria and Rome but the best restaurant we found on the whole trip was literally at the bottom of the road! Our favourite Cities were Assisi and Amelio but there was so much to see that it was difficult to choose. We have no hesitation in recommending both the House and the wine - Brilliant.