Author(s): Vanessa Russell
Holy Bible tells the story of the Bloom family - a large, raucous, often obscene and quietly damaged family growing up in the Christadelphian sect in Ballarat. They are in a small but closely knit community where you are forbidden from straying, or you risk being ostracised. The Bible is the word of God and provides everything that any of them should need to know about life, the future and Jesus Christ's imminent return. While her eight brothers come to terms with the sect's requirements of them - the weekly meetings and ceremonies, their father's darkly comic rants about the end of the world and the expectations of the Brethren - Tranquility Bloom, the youngest of nine and the only daughter, dreams of fleeing the sect and becoming a nurse. Holy Bible hilariously and painfully asks: what happens when we confront the fear that has held us in that space for so long? What happens to the family? And is it possible to rewrite the guide book by which we live?
AUTHOR: Vanessa Russell used to read the entire Bible once a year u including the New Testament twice. Now she doesn't. She has a PhD from Melbourne University u the topic: 'Losing My Religion: Studies in Deconversion'. Her work has been published in Meanjin, Island and Harpur Palate, among other places, and her memoir, My Abduction Holiday, is forthcoming from Hardie Grant.