Published: July 2022
No of Pages: 225
RRP: 32.99
Dimensions: 153x234mm
ISBN Print: 978-0-6452350-4-3
ISBN E-Pub: 978-0-6452350-6-7
ISBN PDF: 978-0-6452350-5-0

Thistledown Seed

Interweaving fiction and memoir in multiple threads, Thistledown Seed follows the displacement and violence of the Holocaust for a Polish family who subsequently settle in Western Australia. In this deeply moving account, Louise Helfgott explores another side of her family’s tragic past made famous in the Oscar-winning movie, Shine. The floating thistledown seed is like the diaspora of the Jewish people who were scattered around the world as a result of the Holocaust. 

“Only a poet perhaps can extract such beauty from a tragedy so immense it will shape generations not yet even born.  With Louise Helfgott’s spare, dramatic prose the impossible becomes possible.  Thistledown Seed is a powerful, moving, if forgiving exploration of hearts so frozen with emotion that their capacity to cripple is seemingly unbounding – a searing, yet beguiling record of one of the most painful journeys into adulthood I have read.”

Sara Dowse, author of SapphiresSchemetime and As the Lonely Fly

“This beautifully written and deeply moving book weaves together three narratives tracing trauma down the generations.  The first narrative concerns Louise Helfgott’s own present day quest through modern Europe to trace members of her family lost to the Holocaust. The second is the story that emerges from the archives of that generation who perished in the incinerators of the death camps. In the third Louise bears painful witness through the eyes of herself as a small child to the impact of trauma on her parents, survivors who forever mourned and who lived in the shadow of past nightmares.”Emerita Associate Professor Gail Phillips on Thistledown Seed


About the Author

Louise Helfgott

Louise Helfgott is an award-winning writer with a PhD in Creative Writing from Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Western Australia. She has had an extensive body of work published and plays produced. Recent achievements include Light in her Eye which won the Todhunter Literary Award in 2014 and performed at the Perth Fringe Festival in 2018. Her play Potchnagoola, based on the mentoring relationship between the West Australian writer, Katharine Susannah Prichard and her concert pianist brother, David Helfgott, was commissioned and performed for the fiftieth anniversary commemoration of Prichard’s death in 2019. Frames, written as part of her doctoral project, was short-listed in the national Playwriting Australia competition and produced by Class Act Theatre for a successful season at the Subiaco Arts Centre in 2014. She co-won the Magdalena Prize for Feminist Research at ECU in 2013. Other credits include The Bridge (Mandurah Little Theatre, 2006) which was a finalist in New Musicals Australia in 2011 and A Closer Sky (Mandurah Little Theatre, 2004) which was nominated for an AWGIE award in 2005. Her poetry anthology Can You Hold the Sun? was published by FreeXpresSion (2004). She lives in Mandurah WA with her husband.

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