Debut historical novel launched by Coffs author Bruce Meder

Bruce Meder shares his motivations, research finds and thoughts on war with Andrea Ferrari, News Of The Area, at his book launch.


COFFS Harbour author Bruce Meder officially launched his debut historical novel, Ironic Cross, at Old John’s Café on Wednesday 1 December.

With 31 people in attendance, Bruce’s friend Harvey Ward acted as MC and highlighted some of the themes of the book.

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On show was the painting that provides the artwork for the book’s cover, created by local artist John Thiering.

The painting illustrates two of the symbols that recur throughout the book – a cross and a canary.

During a Q&A session Bruce noted that pacifism, non-violence, and women’s voices are often written out of history, especially conflict history.

“Although Ironic Cross has war as its backdrop, non-violence and women’s voices are shunned from many of our social institutions: the courts, our education system, parliaments – and politics generally, and our economic system.

“Hence, I hope that in some small way this book allows pacifism and women’s voices to at least be whispered somewhere.

“I would like to think that the book allows a reader to think either differently, or more deeply, about war.

“Who begins wars? Who benefits? Who loses?

“Also, what are the effects (short-term and ongoing) of war upon friends and families of those who participate and do not come back, as well as those who do come back but are forever transformed, in many instances in a unhealthy way, as is the novel’s character Henry who suffered shell-shock, today known as PTSD?

“I felt buoyed last night with the launch itself.

“There were feelings of joy, connection, encouragement, and keen listening in the room.

“I felt that people really did want to hear about the book, as well as my motivations and inspirations in writing it.

“One thing I was encouraged by in the audience’s comments was that people enjoyed meeting other people there, for the first time.

“That has been an enduring theme of my professional, voluntary, and personal career – to enable people to connect…and stories, of which novels are one form, are great ways for that to happen.”




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