When writer Nigel Featherstone asked Francesca to talk with about her book Bite Your Tongue, how could she resist? The result is this piece first published in the Canberra Times (24 September 2011): The big L word – Love ‘it’s such a tricky four-letter word, isn’t it?’
Nigel and Francesca conducted this interview over Skype, Nigel in Goulburn, Francesca in Melbourne.
The big L word
by Nigel Featherstone
‘On page 197 of a book I’ve just finished reading is a photograph that blew my mind. In one way, it’s just an everyday happy-snap: a well-groomed mother is standing against a lounge-room curtain and holding up her baby daughter for the camera. The baby girl is dressed in white; perhaps she’s on her way to her christening. The mother – the adoring mother – raises the baby girl high so that she has to look up, so she can admire her creation, her responsibility. The baby girl doesn’t look back at her mother; instead she looks to the camera, though not actually into the camera lens – she sees something off to one side, something that everyone else seems to be ignoring. But what blew my mind is this: the baby girl has her hand to her mother’s chin, as if she’s already pushing her away….’
Image: Francesca and Angel in front of the green velvet, Woofindin Avenue, Sheffield, UK, slide by John Rendle-Short c. 1961