Recommended ReadsOur guest Debra Oswald, author of The Whole Bright Year has chosen An Odyssey by Daniel Mendelsohn as her recommended read for Word of Mouth TV. A novel that echoes the themes and circularity of the original Homerian epic; the second oldest surviving work of Western literature and the sequel to the Iliad, which is the oldest, An Odyssey reminds us of the universality of themes surrounding fathers and sons, trickery and truthfulness.
Portrait of a recipeWe chose to kick off our 1970s menu with Richard Glover and Debra Oswald with a prawn avocado and fennel cocktail, because it was the universal starter at restaurants around the world during the decade. Its popularity proved its downfall and these days it is considered incredibly retro, despite being a wonderful, classic dish. It tastes best served with champagne, so of course we found it irresistible. According to the website loveFood, it owes its origins to a California miner, although this is hotly disputed.
Recommended readsPrepare to take your seats (or beds) whatever the case may be as we have a slew of recommendations for our season finale. Richard Glover kicks off with You Daughters of Freedom by Clare Wright, a momumental history of the suffragist movement. Both Kate and Sarah are strong feminists, so it was right up our alley. Usually, we just run the publisher's blurb but to celebrate the finale, Kate has reviewed both Richard's and Debra Oswald's suggestions. Enjoy!
Portrait of a recipeWe are having a 1970s and Auguste Escoffier double this episode. Not only did the chef Escoffier invent the Peach Melba, which we featured for Debra Oswald's novel The Whole Bright Year, he was also the first chef to mention sauce a la Diane in 1907, which we are featuring here to celebrate Richard Glover's book The Land Before Avocado. The dish of Steak Diane derives from the myth of Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt, and hence its designated pairing with meat. Its modern incarnation is believed to have its genesis in the United States, and it was a very popular dish in restaurants in the 1970s.
Author Q&AABC talk-radio presenter and author of The Land Before Avocado, Richard Glover, shares his thoughts on the 1970s with Word of Mouth TV. After incorporating extensive research and personal experience, he reminds us that the Australia of 50 years ago is not the great place that nostalgic, dewy-eyed boomers would have us believe: it was boring, insular, authoritarian and intolerant. Nor is our country going to the dogs; life has improved on nearly every metric. On the upside, he says going back in time offers a great opportunity to laugh at ourselves and to appreciate just how far we've come.
Author Q&ADebra Oswald, creator of the TV series Offspring and author of The Whole Bright Year , shares her greatest inspirations and challenges as a writer, in a career that has brought her to the vibrant heart of Australian culture. For those of you who don't know, Debra's screen credits also include: Bananas in Pyjamas, Police Rescue, The Secret Life of Us, and various dramas for ABC TV Education. Debra also shares her passion for food. The Whole Bright Year is set on a peach farm in the 1970s, and she takes great pleasure skewering the hilarious food moments of the era.
Iconic literary food momentsIn honour of our super '70s episode, we decided to dedicate this moment in literary time to a poet who was actually writing during the period. Li-Young Lee is a Chinese American poet renowned for the zen-like simplicity and passion of his poems, a refreshing break from the angst of modern poetry, and he penned the most sublime poem about peaches, titled From Blossoms. Of course, our guest Debra Oswald's novel The Whole Bright Year is set on a peach farm in Australia in the 1970s, so it seems the perfect celebration. It is a poem so vivid in its evocation, it lingers in the memory, suspended in time. Enjoy!
We're living in the 70sThanks to Penguin Books and Harper Collins, Word of Mouth TV has a super 70s giveaway to celebrate the season finale with one of Australia's most talented literary couples, Debra Oswald and Richard Glover. Their books The Whole Bright Year and The Land Before Avocado will take those of us who remember it on a rollicking romp back in time to Australia in the 1970s - few better times to be. And for those so careless as to be born post-1980, they will take you to a place of wonder that defies belief - a foreign land. You know the drill! Don't forget the hashtags!
Join us for this fun and fab night with one of Australia's most talented and interesting literary couples, Debra Oswald and Richard Glover, as they share the backstories of their fantastic books: The Whole Bright Year and The Land Before Avocado. Both books were set in the 1970s and it was an absolute blast from the past as we ventured back into one of the most fun and fascinating eras in Australia's recent history. This season finale is a classic and very funny!! It was just a fantastic way to end the first season of Word of Mouth TV.