Book Launch of Paradiso by Steve Capelin – 9 July 2021
PARADISO BY STEVE CAPELIN: A STORY OF ITALIAN EMIGRANTS AND A 19TH CENTURY SCAM
Date and Tme: Friday 09 July 2021 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Where: In store at Avid Reader Bookshop / ZOOM Online
Register until 09 July 2021 4:00 PM
This event commences instore and online at 6.30pm (AEST)
Register on the tab in this link: https://avidreader.com.au/events/steve-capelin-paradiso
A novel set on New Ireland, based on the bizarre but true story of the Marquis de Rays, who had ambitions of starting a great French colony in the Pacific and who persuaded hundreds of people to invest and settle there, despite never having been there himself.
In 1880 three hundred Italian peasants abandon the fields of Veneto to follow a dream. They join an expedition to establish a utopian colony in the islands of the Pacific. Wealth, independence and liberty await them. The venture is a disaster. The expedition leaders abandon them, the dream disintegrates. Struggling to survive in the jungles of New Guinea, the Italians are desperate to escape. Australia beckons but unseen events threaten to frustrate their quest for liberty.
Brisbane writer Steve Capelin has spent the better part of ten years researching the story behind his forthcoming novel, Paradiso, the story of of his wildly adventurous Italian ancestors who arrived in Australia, via New Guinea, as refugees in 1881.
There is pain in this true story but there is also hope and redemption and, while the utopian dream does not eventuate, a life in Australia offers an opportunity to create an Italian community in a place they had never expected, a pilgrimage site for descendants that survives today as New Italy on the Pacific Highway close by the Richmond river and the town of Woodburn in northern New South Wales.
It’s a story with many twists and turns; a story of hope, trust, betrayal and survival and the surprising attitude of 19th century Australia to a group of hapless refugees.
Lorenzo Perin was Steve’s great grandfather.
Steve Capelin has written for theatre, published short stories and, in 1982, was a founding member of the West End based Street Arts Community Theatre Company. He is a Brisbane based West End historian and author.