The answer to this week’s WWW is Antonella Gambotto (now, Antonella Gambotto-Burke), a journalist and writer who first appeared on my radar when I read The eclipse: a memoir of suicide. The eclipse is a masterful study of the effects of depression and is an homage of sorts to her brother who committed suicide.
But the quote I highlighted this week is from her first novel The Pure Weight of the Heart.
Shooting stars possess a certain grandeur for me, an almost religious significance. I see them as symbols of a pure and nervous beauty, devoid of torment, nervous in the way of any vivid thing. Even their names hum with the energy of other worlds – the Delta Aquarids, the Lyrids, the Orionids. All that splendour , and such power.
My interest in writing feature profiles led me to read Gambotto’s Lunch of Blood, a 1994 anthology with an eclectic collection of celebrity subjects, including Nick Cave, Rachel Hunter and Martin Amis. It was enjoyable, if a little formulaic in the usual journalistic way.
The Pure Weight of the Heart however, is devastatingly deep and surprising. It follows the difficult life of astrophysicist Angelica as she searches for love and it left me with more questions than answers.