I’ve been doing my Doctor of Creative Arts with Belinda Castles over the past couple of years and it’s great to see her novel, Hannah and Emil, come out. I loved this blog post and thought you might be interested too.


(Cross-posted with Southerly.)

Just over five years ago, I decided to write a novel about my grandparents. Their names were Fay and Heinz (in the novel they became Hannah and Emil), and like so many caught up in the wars of the last century, their lives in those times were characterised by displacement and agonising separation.

Heinz, a German veteran of the First World War and anti-Nazi socialist, escaped from Germany in 1933, fleeing tragedy and great personal danger. Having crossed the border into Holland and then Belgium, he met Fay, a translator, at the Maison du Peuples in Brussels, where she worked for the trade union movement. They settled in England, her home, and ran a youth hostel until 1940, when Heinz was arrested as an enemy alien. He was soon afterwards sent to Australia on HMT Dunera with 2000 mainly Jewish Germans and Austrians and interned at…

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About Jesse Blackadder

Living at the easternmost tip of Australia on the caldera of an extinct volcano, Jesse Blackadder is a novelist, freelance writer and Doctor of Creative Arts. She is fascinated by landscapes, adventurous women and very cold places and has published three adult novels and three novels for children.
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