Fourth-generation Tasmanian, Steve Harris, has returned to Launceston for the annual Tamar Valley Writers Festival, this weekend.
Recent research into Harris’ family saw him discover a past of convicts, policemen and settlers, reigniting his interest in untold Australian stories.
Solomon’s Noose, a book written by Harris, delves into the tale of the Hangman.
The protagonist, Solomon Blay, was a young convict who became Her Majesty’s hangman in Van Diemen’s Land.
“When i was growing up here and learning about so-called history, a lot of the stuff I was delving into we weren’t taught at school,” Harris said.
The story looks closely at issues like same-sex relationships, Australian identity capital punishment and relations with Aborigines
Each of these themes are still issues today, Harris said.
“Nothing is new under the sun, some people are just new to it.”
This will be the first time Harris has attended the Tamar Valley Writers Festival.
Harris is looking forward to exchanging stories and ideas with writers and readers who have an interest in the history of Tasmania.
“Every story you read has a story behind it somewhere, it is never finished,” Harris said.
PROGRAM FOR TAMAR VALLEY WRITERS FESTIVAL
What: History’s Lesson, Revisiting Australia’s Past on Saturday March 18 at 10am
What: Lost Voices, Recreating Historic Characters on Saturday March 18 at 2pm
What: Our Island Home, Questions and Lessons from our History on Saturday March 19 at 2pm