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With Your Words in My Hands: Q&A with author Sonia Cancian

An online seminar hosted by The University of Adelaide


Image: Cover of With Your Words in My Hands: The Letters of Antonietta Petris and Loris Palma (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2021)

Date: 15 October 2021
Time: 11:00 AM ACDT (Adelaide). 11:30 AM AEDT (Sydney, Melbourne). 8:30 AM AWST (Perth). 8:30 PM EDT (Montreal, 14 October).
Venue: Online via Zoom.
Registration: Free. Registration is essential: Zoom links and supplementary readings will be emailed to attendees registered through Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/with-your-words-in-my-hands-qa-with-author-sonia-cancian-tickets-180912543287.
Enquiries: claire.i.walker@adelaide.edu.au

Sonia Cancian’s latest book, With Your Words in My Hands: The Letters of Antonietta Petris and Loris Palma (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2021) places love and the letter squarely at the centre of migration. It tells the story of two separated lovers, Antonietta Petris and Loris Palma, two young migrants from Italy, who like countless other couples, wrote fervidly to bridge their distance and absence. In these letters exchanged shortly after World War II between Montreal and Venice, the young couple weave a hymn to love, writing day after day, letter after letter, about their woes and joys, and their agonizing sorrow that fate had imposed on them. Through this epistolary story of migration and separation, Cancian compels us to consider what it means to be separated by a loved one and to stay connected. In this book, she urges us to reflect on the timeless practice of reading and writing letters in an age when instantaneous devices have become the new normal. Sonia Cancian’s With Your Words in My Hands invites us to put pen to paper and compose a letter, and reconnect with others through the human touch. In doing so, Cancian reminds us that handwritten letters are not fossilized fragments of a 20th century world, but rather timeless compasses for a more empathetic, connected humanity of the future.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions will be hosting an online Q&A session with Dr. Cancian about her pathbreaking research. Please join us for a reading from With Your Words in My Hands, and to learn more about the emotional lives of migrants in the modern world.