Francesca Rendle-Short is the author of the novel/memoir Bite your tongue (Spinifex Press), the novel Imago (Spinifex Press), the novella Big Sister (Redress Novellas), and co-author with scriptwriter Felicity Packard of the short play entitled Us. Her short fiction, photo-essays, exhibition text, and poetry for the page and for the wall, have been published in literary journals and magazines, online and in exhibitions. She has worked variously as a radio producer, teacher, editor, freelance writer and arts journalist. She has a Doctor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong and is the Program Director of Creative Writing at RMIT University. She lives in Melbourne.

Angel Bread: Writing My Mother

In logic, a counterfactual is a conditional of how the world would be, if, in an if/then statement, the antecedent were true. A ‘what-if’ kind of world, a world in which there are alternative histories. In this paper I will examine the possibilities of writing this kind of wish-story where a mother is a morals crusader on a mission to save children, and a daughter finds a way to break the silence and rebel. What does a daughter owe her mother? Is it possible to write your body out of silence? Can this written body become poetry, food for living?