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  • Published: Upswell
  • Date: 2023
  • ISBN: 9780645536805
  • Formats: Print

The Things We Live With Gemma Nisbet

‘This is how I became interested in things. In their strange pull and power; in the ways they hold on to us and we to them.’

After her father dies of cancer, Gemma Nisbet is inundated with keepsakes connected to his life by family and friends. As she becomes attuned to the ways certain items can evoke specific memories or moments, she begins to ask questions about the relationships between objects and people. Why is it so difficult to discard some artefacts and not others? Does the power exerted by precious things influence the ways we remember the past and perceive the future? As Nisbet considers her father’s life and begins to connect his experiences of mental illness with her own, she wonders whether hanging on to ‘stuff’ is ultimately a source of comfort or concern.

Intimate and wide-ranging, The Things We Live With is a collection of essays about how we learn to live with the ‘things’ handed down in families which we carry throughout our lives: not only material objects, but also grief, memory, anxiety and depression. It’s about notions of home and restlessness, inheritance and belonging – and, above all, the ways we tell our stories to ourselves and other people.

Tagged: Perth

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