Rilke’s Legacy: Laura La Rosa on Writing

Laura La Rosa in the Sydney Review of Books:

Growing up, ours was a typical post-eighties Western Sydney household: instant cuppas, Wonder White, three channels and the Daily Tele. We were Blackfellas on my mother’s side and working class migrant Italian farmers on my father’s. We survived, just, but the arts were as foreign to me as the city was.

I remember the day we got dial-up internet. I was fourteen. By then, my brother had been shafted to a caravan out the back, with mum claiming the third bedroom as her office where she ran a small cleaning supplies business. She studied bookkeeping and built herself a website. Her then-husband bailed her out financially more than once; even so her efforts to harness late-nineties innovation were a feat for a suburban mum.

By the time I was seventeen, I had been kicked out of school and home. I went to TAFE and studied business management, surviving through clerical work and progressing from friend’s couches to a granny flat rental of my own. Later, well into my twenties, I put myself through design school where I learned to think, an experience that would eventually compel me to write.

More here.