Author(s): Sophie Cunningham
Sophie Cunningham's spellbinding novel is an exquisite depiction of the equivocal bond between mother and daughter, and the search for identity through Buddhism. To her lovers and friends, Anna Davidoff was a mystery: beautiful, charismatic, irresponsible yet disarming; famous, in a way, but ultimately unknowable. To her daughter, she is no less an enigma even now, thirty years after her death. Of course Ana-Sofia knows the stories of Anna's unlikely transformations. How the young post-war refugee from a devastated Soviet Union became a Hollywood starlet, a muse to jazz greats, a friend of the Beats and a heroin addict. How later, ordained as a Buddhist nun, she died alone in a Himalayan cave at the age of forty-three. But now Ana-Sofia is the same age Anna was when she died. Successful, content, single in New York City and hopeful of new love. And Anna has begun to haunt her. Sophie Cunninghamis a former publisher and the author of two novels, Geographypublished in 2004, and Birdpublished in 2008. She is a former editor of Meanjin, and the the current Chair of the Literature Strategy Panel of the Australia Council. She was a founding member of the Stella Prize. 'A rich and multi-layered novel' Canberra Times 'Each of the voices is engaging and interesting in its own right...Cunningham's eye for emotional detail...underpins the encounters between Bird's very different characters.' Sydney Morning Herald '[Cunningham] creates a convincing sense of time and place, and can carry a reader with her telling observations and insights into the emotional lives of her characters.' Weekend Australian 'Cunningham never puts a foot wrong in relating a fabulous story, as unpredictable as it is convincing, as thoughtful as it is absorbing.' Age 'There's nothing quite like being carried away on someone else's flight of fancy and one of the true pleasures of reading a gifted story-teller is being able to take just such a journey...Cunningham takes the reader on an adventure through the psychological and emotional landscapes of her characters' lives, but also across the world...Cunningham had married truth and fiction to produce a well-written and fascinating story. A flight well worth catching.' Courier Mail 'compassionate and absorbing.' West Australian 'ambitious, enthralling and graceful' Adelaide Advertiser
Sophie Cunningham is a former publisher and the author of two novels, Geography published in 2004, and Bird published in 2008. She is a former editor of Meanjin, and the the current Chair of the Literature Strategy Panel of the Australia Council. She was a founding member of the Stella Prize.