Wandering beneath the grace of clouds: an interview with Janie Conway-Herron

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Renes, M & Conway-Herron, J 2014, 'Wandering beneath the grace of clouds: an interview with Janie Conway-Herron', TEXT, vol. 18, no. 1

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The following is an edited version of an interview with the writer-scholar-musician Janie Conway-Herron which took place in the beginning of March 2013. It formed part of a Master’s seminar on Australian identity/-ies taught at the University of Barcelona in which Janie Conway-Herron’s first novel, Beneath the Grace of Clouds (Cockatoo Books 2010) was addressed. The interview explores the links between her creative writing, her sense of belonging and place in Australia and her involvement in the alternative protest movements of the 1960s and beyond, especially her engagement with the Indigenous cause through Rock Against Racism. It aims to flesh out the politics behind her creative agenda, which she formulates as follows on the first pages of Beneath the Grace of Clouds.

I am a collector. I collect lost stories; the ones that people forget or the ones that people know but don’t tell. You can find them if you look hard enough in the right places. I look for different stories and hold them up to myself like a mirror, searching for the elusive threads that might slip away before I have time to catch them. Holding them tightly in a grid of sentences that give vent to a particular jewel of a moment that shines across the centuries, I give meaning and shape to my own life. (Conway-Herron 2010: 7)

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