Thistledown Seed: Mandurah author and playwright Louise Helfgott’s book nominated for Dorothy Hewett Awards


Louise Helfgott is looking forward to an exciting February.
Louise Helfgott is looking forward to an exciting February.

FEBRUARY could be an exciting month for local playwright and author Louise Helfgott.

Not only will her latest play be staged in the Perth Fringe Festival but she will also discover how her new book has fared in the Dorothy Hewett Awards.

Helfgott’s book Thistledown Seed covers three interwoven perspectives – two aunts who were a part of the Holocaust, her travels in 2013 to Poland where her parents lived and her memories of her own childhood.

The book is named in honour of the thistledown seed that wafts through the summer air in Poland.

“Its almost a messenger from the past – something you cannot grasp but perfect in itself,’’ she said.

“I’ve been thinking about writing the book for a long time and its something I felt I had to do.”

But the big shock came a couple of weeks ago when UWA Press called to tell her Thistledown Seed had been shortlisted for the Dorothy Hewett Awards – just one of five chosen from 99 entries.

The announcement will be made at the Perth Writer’s Festival.

“Even if I don’t win, just being shortlisted offers a greater chance of being published,’’ Helfgott said.

“I’m just really thrilled.’’

Helfgott’s play Light in Her Eye is about a woman of Armenian-Iranian background who settles in Australia.

It will be staged on the first three weekends in February.

Her previous plays include The Bridge at Mandurah Performing Arts Centre in 1997 and 2006, A Closer Sky (1999 and 2004) and Estuary Dream (2002).

MORE: Home-made gun charges: Police arrest man for allegedly modifying replica guns

MORE: City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi pushes for quick penalty hearing after partial appeal win

MORE: Perth’s weekend weather: it’s getting hot in here