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Passion Play

The Oberammergau tales

Valerie Volk

Passion Play
I am indeed a part
of all those I have met,
and must learn who I am.

A politician, a cooking contest winner, a troubled clergyman, a much-married socialite, a TV evangelist - what could they have in common? Why do they (and half a million others) travel to Oberammergau, the small German village that has staged a Passion Play every tenth year since 1634?

In a four-day bus trip, very different people are drawn together for diverse reasons, similar to the varied group whom Chaucer brought to life in his Canterbury Tales. But these travellers do not tell invented stories to entertain each other; they reveal to us with raw and often painful honesty their own lives and motives.

Shortlisted for the 2014 OMEGA Writers CALEB Poetry Prize

Praise for Passion Play:
'A riveting read as the travellers tell their stories, with no shortage of the seven deadly sins.' - Professor Doreen Rosenthal

'These modern pilgrims to a medieval town are driven ... by individualised guilt stemming from their own personal histories. In these pilgrims we are constantly reminded of the 3Ls: life, love, and loss.' - Bruce Dawe

'As with Chaucer, all human life is here, as we live it now, and have done throughout our history.' - Jenny Gribble

'Volk's swerve away from Chaucer creates for us a linking group of tourists, animated by their approach to a religious festival in Europe. Their story-telling, in her fluent verse, is utterly persuasive.' - Chris Wallace-Crabbe

'... highly original and totally engaging, and provides much food for thought about human nature.' - Kerryn Goldsworthy

'This is a book that is hard to put down, and when the end is reached there is still plenty to think about ... It is one of those books that remains in the mind for a long time.' - Susan Polites, Studio

Valerie Volk is a former secondary teacher, tertiary lecturer, and director of an international education program. She has won awards for poetry and short fiction and has published widely in journals, anthologies and magazines. Her first book, In Due Season, won the Omega Writers CALEB Poetry Prize in 2010, and there have been enthusiastic reviews of both her verse novel, A†Promise of Peaches, and her sardonic modern versions of Grimmsí Tales, Even Grimmer Tales. This fourth book, Passion Play: The Oberammergau Tales, reflects both a love of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales that was born during a Year 12 English course many decades ago and also her fascination with the infinite variety of human beings.
Format Paperback
Size 210 x 140 mm
ISBN 9781743055731
Extent 336 pages
Price: AU$34.95 including GST
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