Eating The Underworld

Eating The Underworld

By Doris Brett

"The life of an individual is as complex as a maze of reflecting mirrors. The life of a family is even more so."

Doris Brett is an award-winning writer and poet.

'I forget who said that the prospect of impending death concentrates the mind wonderfully . . . clarifying is the word I keep thinking of. But this is not the clarifying of a mist gently evaporating to reveal answers. This is the clarifying of paint-stripper; a solvent that stings and burns with its harshness, but reveals what was truly there all the time.'

When Doris Brett was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, she began writing a private journal - a traveller's diary through a life-threatening illness. The journal, however, rapidly grew into something much more than that. Cancer became the catalyst for an inner journey - a journey through self.

Evocatively told via three voices - the diarist, the poet, and the voice of fairytale and myth - this memoir explores the intricate dynamics of family, truth and memory.

Poignant and compelling, "Eating the Underworld" is a sharply observed, often unexpectedly funny book about change, transformation and the constant renewal of self throughout our lives.

"As with any descent into a feared and terrifying country - whether it is the country of illness or the country of a grieving heart - we have entered the underworld. And we have eaten of its fruit . . . the knowledge of ourselves, the knowledge of others. We cannot remain unchanged."

About The Author

Doris Brett is a writer and clinical psychologist. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and daughter. Her books have ranged from poetry to fiction, from psychological self-help to bread-baking and have been translated into several languages.

The poems included in this book have won several of Australia's most prestigious literary awards, including the 1994 Queensland Premier's Poetry Prize, the 1995 Northern Territory Government Poetry Prize, the 1998 Judith Wright Poetry Prize and the 1998 Gwen Harwood Memorial Poetry Prize.