Congratulations to Sarah Bacaller, whose 2020 book, The Fault Lines Founding Liberty recently reached #1 on Amazon Australia’s “Christian Inspiration” category!
The Fault Lines Founding Liberty explores the tensions inherent in growing up and moving on from faith, family, and past versions of ourselves. With unanswered questions and hovering guilt, a young woman comes to confront the spectres of her past through dialogue with an unexpected companion. This process is as uncomfortable as it is transformative. Freedom is discovered not by eliminating life’s loose ends nor running away from them, but in gathering them bravely and continuing to put one foot in front of the other despite everything – a process made hopeful in the solidarity of unexpected friendship.
Sarah spoke with Vox about this achievement.
Sarah, congratulations on your book reaching #1 in Amazon Australia’s ‘Christian Inspiration’ category! What makes you most excited about this?
Funnily enough, it occurred just after an unpleasant rejection of the book by a Christian bookstore … so it has been both amusing and vindicating. That old saying is right – any publicity is good publicity! – but my small taste of notoriety was enough to show me that I much prefer friendship and being on good terms with people!
To talk strategically, occasions like this look great on a CV and are a wonderful confidence boost, because aspiring writers face plenty of rejection and need encouragement. But also, this story is part of me; to know it is being shared with others is meaningful.
In the time since the book has been released, what has been your favourite piece of feedback about it?
I’ve enjoyed being surprised by the people who have chosen to read it – it hasn’t always been the people I’ve expected. I’m looking forward to hearing feedback from a Muslim friend who I met at the local market. She has studied Islamic theology and is driven to ask hard questions about her own faith, and the novella stems from the same impetus within me.
How did you come to write about this area?
Writing Fault Lines helped me to process and share certain anxieties, worldviews and painful experiences through the forgiving lens of narrative fiction. It was a way of attempting to redeem a whole load of pretty awful stuff … by consolidating and diverting it into a story that could be shared (non-confrontationally) with others. While the protagonist isn’t me, the story reminds me of what I’ve learned and where I’ve come from. And it is a way of exploring the ways in which good, healthy, honest relationships change us – and how punitive theologies can be overcome.
What other projects are you working on?
I’m involved in the UD funded project, “Openings for collaborative theology through classical Yolngu and Warlpiri epistemologies”. As an offshoot of that, I’ve just had an article published in PIP: Australian Permaculture Magazine on the artistic journey of my friend, Bardi artist Juanita Mulholland – which has been wonderful. I also published a novel earlier this year, She, Tenacity and am plugging away at a PhD in philosophy, which I’m loving. There’s always more to be written!
The Fault Lines Founding Liberty is available for purchase here.