Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Book Review: Still Life with Teapot

Still Life with Teapot (Fremantle Press, 2016)
Brigid Lowry
(I own a copy courtesy of the publisher)



I first came across Brigid Lowry's work when I read Guitar, Highway, Rose which I probably found in the treasure trove that was my primary school library.  While I have fond memories of that book, it wasn't until I picked up Lowry's book on writing, Juicy Writing, that I became a fan.  Juicy Writing was far from a technical manual on how to write-- rather it was a manifesto for how to be creative, how to have fun with words, and how to kick start the ideas that would otherwise lie unrealised in your brain.

So when I saw that Brigid Lowry was to publish a book on writing, zen and creativity this year with Fremantle Press, I was ecstatic.  Still Life with Teapot is part memoir, part anthology and part pillow-book, chronicling the writing life of this remarkable woman.  It incorporate's Brigid's own personal history and philosophy as well as the tenets of her zen faith to create a marvellous, heart-warming book that will appeal to anyone who does anything creative, whether it be writing novels or arranging flowers.  At times, the recollections are sad; Brigid brings in family loss and the breakdown of a marriage to the conversation, but demonstrates in the assorted creative pieces peppered through the book that writing and art can be cathartic and healing in their own ways.

People who saw me reading this book on public transport probably thought I was losing my mind, as I frequently chuckled at Lowry's free-spirited take on life.  This was a book which inspired me to embrace creativity in whatever form it came, and to seek out new experiences which would foster my writing.

I highly enjoyed it and gave it four and a half stars.

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