Love and Madness – Writing from the Heart
Paula Keogh’s The Green Bell is a lyrical and profoundly moving story about love and madness. Justin Heazlewood’s Get Up Mum is a beautifully endearing, entertaining book about love, family, mental illness and coming-of-age. Janice Simpson chats with two authors writing powerful memoir that shines a tender light on living with mental illness.
The Green Bell
In 1972 in Canberra, Michael Dransfield is being treated for a drug addiction. Paula Keogh has suffered a breakdown. They meet in the psychiatric ward of the Canberra Hospital and instantly fall in love.Paula recovers a self she thought she had lost while Michael is caught up in a rush of creative energy and writes the poems that become The Second Month of Spring. Together, they commit to ‘living life as a poem’ and plan for ‘a wedding, marriage, kids – the whole trip’. Once outside the hospital, madness and grief challenge their luminous dream. For them, the question becomes, can their love survive?
Get Up Mum
It’s 1992 in Burnie, Tasmania and 12-year-old Justin lives alone with his mum. When she is well, Mum is perfect. She knows he likes his carrots raw and his toast cooled, and she knows how to sooth his growing pains. But when she is sick she cries uncontrollably and never gets out of bed. High school is on the horizon and Justin is bursting with adolescent energy. But his mum’s mental illness hangs over him like a shadow and he feels the need to grow up fast.Told with youthful exuberance, Get Up Mum is a wildly endearing, entertaining and incredibly powerful memoir about love, family, and coming-of-age.
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Read more about Justin’s book in an interview at The Guardian.