My Life in a Pea Soup was announced as the winner of the Finch Memoir Prize on Saturday 19 May at SWF. The prize is worth $10,000 and publication.
My Life in a Pea Soup is Lisa Nops’ engrossing story about her journey to acceptance of life as it is. Her journey includes living in three different countries, coming to terms with her much-longed for daughter’s profound autism, and holding together the threads of her marriage.
‘This writer wasn’t afraid of telling the truth, of admitting her frailties – and I felt for her all the way, especially at the end where she finally understands her life will never be any different and that dreaming of miracles is a fool’s game’ – SUSAN DUNCAN, author of Salvation Creek and The Briny Café
‘My Life in a Pea Soup is really compelling, full of honesty, with incredibly vivid scenes that really stay with you … (This) is an important book for people with a connection with autism …’ – RICHARD GLOVER, ABC radio broadcaster and author of The Mud House
‘This manuscript has to be given top marks for candour.’ – JACQUELINE KENT, author of The Making of Julia Gillard
My Life in a Pea Soup follows one mother’s journey to reach her profoundly autistic daughter. Set against the backdrop of three countries – Sri Lanka, Bahrain and Australia – this book will appeal to anyone who has experienced heartbreak and then found a way to not only help themselves, but to help those dearest to them.
The memoir chronicles Lisa’s journey across many countries with her husband Michael and her daughter Sally. Lisa struggles to understand why her beautiful daughter does not act like other toddlers. Lisa and Michael experience cultural clashes and comical moments, all told through the lens of caring for a daughter who is different to the rest. Fighting for years to receive an official diagnosis for something they do not even have a name for, they are thrown headlong into a medicalised world they never knew existed.
Baffled and bewildered, Lisa eventually embarks on a home-program for Sally that touches everyone in the family. Sally becomes much easier to manage while Lisa and her husband learn to navigate their way through the misty madness of the profoundly autistic world. By reaching Sally, they find the will and strength to help themselves. Their fogs lift and they discover the contentment and happiness that for so long had eluded them.
About the author: Lisa Nops was born in Singapore and spent her teenage years in Canberra. She and her husband Michael have lived in England, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Sydney, Auckland, Colombo, Canberra and Bahrain, but now reside in Sydney. Lisa is a full-time carer to Sally and teaches English as a Second Language on a part-time basis.