Released 1 July 2022, RRP: 32.99 AUD
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 Sapphires, Schemetime 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