At the Melbourne Writers' Festival 2010 I will be speaking about my novel
Child of the Twilight
at a session called Writing Women.
Some of the key content of my novel is concerned with the existence of miraculous black statues of the Virgin Mary in Europe.
On my own dressing table I have a tiny statue of the black madonna from Guadalupe in Spain. She is dressed in a robe of atmosphere-sensitive chips that change colour with the weather. When it is hot she is bright turquoise, when it is cold she moves through pale yucky pink to icy-blue white. Her little black face remains forever pitch black.I was in Guadalupe doing research for my Child of the Twilight, some of which is set in Spain, and much of which is concerned with the theft of a religious statue. In my Festival session on Women Writing I will discuss the question of the black images of the Virgin Mary - as well as other things.In my other session on storytelling at Toff of the Town I will be telling a story.It won't be a story about black madonnas, so just so you know, the story of the lady of Guadalupe goes like this:In 1326 a cowherd, in response to seeing a vision of the Virgin, dug up a casket which contained a black statue of Mary. The statue had been buried six centuries earlier by knights fleeing from the Saracens. It became an object of veneration, and is believed to have been responsible for many miracles. When Columbus set out to discover the New World, he began his journey from the steps of the cathedral at Guadalupe, and placed his ships under the patronage of the Black Virgin of Guadalupe.A great story I think.