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CONTACT Mail: info@alisonbuckley.net +61418 652 206
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ABOUT

ALISON BUCKLEY “ We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect “                                   

Interview

Alison Buckley Alison Buckley - The Interview How long have you been writing? I’m not sure whether writers are born as such, but for as long as I can remember I’ve been writing stories in my head. Unfortunately my childhood compositions were set aside for other subjects, and eventually university essays. But when I later returned to tertiary study, it was academic writing that set me on the path to writing novels. I didn’t start to write in earnest until the last of my four children had left home, about four years ago. Before that writing a novel was just one of those dreams people have that they never think will come true. Did your studies provide any impetus for your books? Yes, I loved politics and modern history, but in my mid-20s, I discovered the ancient history of the Old Testament, which was a whole new world of learning. Courses I took in religion and law broadened my perspectives, and a break from teaching to study social sciences, including counselling and social policy, made me more aware of human rights issues. Has your childhood influenced the themes of your books? Growing up on a farm in the inland of Australia offered a very free and materially simple lifestyle, where we worked together to achieve our family goals. So it was easy to empathise and even identify with guerrilla fighters living in the mountains on limited resources, fighting for their nation’s freedom, and defending their people from the attacks of reactionary regimes. The Middle East is a long way from the rural Australian region where you live. How did you become interested in the Kurds? I sometimes wondered what happened to Queen Vashti of the Old Testament book of Esther, who lost her crown in an episode which rankled with my feminism. A google search finally yielded the writings of a Kurdish man who had concluded Vashti was of the Medes, an ancient Iranian people considered the forbears of today’s Kurds. He provided much of the research for my first two novels. I had the good fortune to travel to the Middle East in 2010, but never crossed what I call the ‘Iron Curtain of Turkey’ that hides the Kurds in the east of the country from tourists, so I knew little about them until I started to write. What was different about those novels? I believe they were the first ever on the ancient Medes. Many Kurds feel there has been a cover up of their history, which has been part of the ongoing campaign over the last two and a half thousand years to eliminate them as a people. The novels have detailed the history of the sixth century Middle East from the point of view of the Medes, who ruled the whole region and more for several decades. They have also showcased the civilisation and culture of the Medes, much of which survives today amongst the Kurds. You mentioned your feminism, what shaped it? During my youth, everyone worked on the farm doing virtually the same work, so in spite of the traditional gender differentiations of the era there was a kind of equality. My mother also made sure her daughters accessed the best education she could afford, which has been integral to my writing. At university during the early 1970s the feminism bubbling in a cauldron of social changes developed the belief gained from my experiences.
When the last of her four children left home, Australian teacher Alison Buckley decided to pursue her dream of writing a novel. Curious about what had happened to the little known Middle Eastern Queen Vashti who, according to the biblical narrative of the Jewish Queen Esther, had lost her crown in a court power struggle, Alison suspected there was a story behind this strong female figure. Unable to find any credible information about Vashti, Alison was beginning to think her novel’s potential key character had disappeared into unrecorded history when the name of a Kurdish man appeared on a google search. Convinced Vashti was of the Medes, an ancient Iranian people considered the ancestors of today’s Kurds, he provided much of the information for the two historical novels Alison wrote on the sixth and seventh century BCE imperial civilisations of the Medes, Persians and Babylonians.  
Alison’s growing fascination with Kurdish history and culture led her to the now famous Kurdish women guerrilla fighters, subjects of her latest novel Rite of Honour. Based on the experiences of the many women involved in the Kurdish freedom movement’s struggle for autonomy and human rights in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, like her other works, it has been a labour of love.
“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you.”  -Beatrix Potter
― Anaïs Nin
     

ABOUT

ALISON BUCKLEY “ We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect “                                   
When the last of her four children left home, Australian teacher Alison Buckley decided to pursue her dream of writing a novel. Curious about what had happened to the little known Middle Eastern Queen Vashti who, according to the biblical narrative of the Jewish Queen Esther, had lost her crown in a court power struggle, Alison suspected there was a story behind this strong female figure. Unable to find any credible information about Vashti, Alison was beginning to think her novel’s potential key character had disappeared into unrecorded history when the name of a Kurdish man appeared on a google search. Convinced Vashti was of the Medes, an ancient Iranian people considered the ancestors of today’s Kurds, he provided much of the information for the two historical novels Alison wrote on the sixth and seventh century BCE imperial civilisations of the Medes, Persians and Babylonians. Alison’s growing fascination with Kurdish history and culture led her to the now famous Kurdish women guerrilla fighters, subjects of her latest novel Rite of Honour. Based on the experiences of the many women involved in the Kurdish freedom movement’s struggle for autonomy and human rights in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, like her other works, it has been a labour of love.                Interview Alison Buckley Alison Buckley - The Interview How long have you been writing? I’m not sure whether writers are born as such, but for as long as I can remember I’ve been writing stories in my head. Unfortunately my childhood compositions were set aside for other subjects, and eventually university essays. But when I later returned to tertiary study, it was academic writing that set me on the path to writing novels. I didn’t start to write in earnest until the last of my four children had left home, about four years ago. Before that writing a novel was just one of those dreams people have that they never think will come true. Did your studies provide any impetus for your books? Yes, I loved politics and modern history, but in my mid-20s, I discovered the ancient history of the Old Testament, which was a whole new world of learning. Courses I took in religion and law broadened my perspectives, and a break from teaching to study social sciences, including counselling and social policy, made me more aware of human rights issues. Has your childhood influenced the themes of your books? Growing up on a farm in the inland of Australia offered a very free and materially simple lifestyle, where we worked together to achieve our family goals. So it was easy to empathise and even identify with guerrilla fighters living in the mountains on limited resources, fighting for their nation’s freedom, and defending their people from the attacks of reactionary regimes. The Middle East is a long way from the rural Australian region where you live. How did you become interested in the Kurds? I sometimes wondered what happened to Queen Vashti of the Old Testament book of Esther, who lost her crown in an episode which rankled with my feminism. A google search finally yielded the writings of a Kurdish man who had concluded Vashti was of the Medes, an ancient Iranian people considered the forbears of today’s Kurds. He provided much of the research for my first two novels. I had the good fortune to travel to the Middle East in 2010, but never crossed what I call the ‘Iron Curtain of Turkey’ that hides the Kurds in the east of the country from tourists, so I knew little about them until I started to write. What was different about those novels? I believe they were the first ever on the ancient Medes. Many Kurds feel there has been a cover up of their history, which has been part of the ongoing campaign over the last two and a half thousand years to eliminate them as a people. The novels have detailed the history of the sixth century Middle East from the point of view of the Medes, who ruled the whole region and more for several decades. They have also showcased the civilisation and culture of the Medes, much of which survives today amongst the Kurds. You mentioned your feminism, what shaped it? During my youth, everyone worked on the farm doing virtually the same work, so in spite of the traditional gender differentiations of the era there was a kind of equality. My mother also made sure her daughters accessed the best education she could afford, which has been integral to my writing. At university during the early 1970s the feminism bubbling in a cauldron of social changes developed the belief gained from my experiences. .
― Anaïs Nin
Alison Buckley
Alison Buckley