Thistledown Seed

‘Thistledown Seed’, is an ambitious manuscript, containing both fiction and memoir in multiple threads, which follows the displacement and violence of the Holocaust for a Polish family that subsequently settles in Western Australia.  UWA Press

This story was borne out of a trip that the author embarked on to Poland in 2013 to visit the ancestral home of her parents. It is part-memoir and part fiction as it follows three narratives: the present day narrator travelling in Poland, the child narrator growing up in Perth, Western Australia in the 1960s and 1970s and a fictional narrative from the perspective of the author’s two young Aunts who were murdered in the Holocaust in Poland in 1942. Current experiences are interwoven with the narrator’s memories of formative years as a means of providing backstory and context. The third narrative written from the perspective of the author’s Aunts, Childa and Gutke, is fictionalised as so little is known about them. The three strands intersect and cross over each other connecting ancestral history with contemporary events, sometimes paralleling each other. The central metaphor of the thistledown seed was inspired by a seed pod that is ubiquitous in parts of Europe, including Poland, during the summer months and is used to represent the diaspora of the Jewish people who were scattered around the world as a result of the Holocaust.

Related media

Thistledown Seed: Mandurah author and playwright Louise Helfgott’s book nominated for Dorothy Hewett Awards, Coastal Times, 2017

2018 Dorothy Hewett Award sneak peek: Louise Helfgott, UWA Publishing, February 14, 2018