Read IN BED: Love Stories
Words by Suyin Cavanagh
A man sits on the bustling corner of Adelaide and Albert streets in Brisbane’s CBD. Positioned in front of a small fold-up table, and resting in the centre is a vintage Olivetti Studio 44 sky-blue typewriter which is in supremely good nic. A special gift from his mate Greg’s mum, Kathleen Kelly who passed in 2020.
It’s now 2021 and our second year of living with a pandemic, a world where the word ‘LOCKDOWN’ has become part of our vernacular. In front of the desk is a sign “sentimental writer collecting love stories”. The man seated at the desk is Trent Dalton, and his desire to delve into LOVE in all it’s wondrous forms has led him here to this corner in Brisbane city, for two weeks straight of writing about it. This is the next stage of compiling his book in honour of Kathleen, after two months of wandering Brisbane’s city streets, listening deeply to people revealing their most intimate and personal experiences and encounters with love.
Three hundred and thirty three pages long, thoughtfully scribed and featuring one hundred and fifty people, Love Stories shares, reports and reimagines what love means through the creative mind and voice of one of our most vivid, raw and honest Australian story tellers. Through human connection and offering others the space to share, ponder and reminisce … Trent experiences a wild variety, vast scope and different expressions of what love is and means. The stories are so touching and moving in parts … my hands were sometimes shaking when turning the pages. While there are many humorous, and ironic moments, LOVE STORIES is a full-spectrum experience and I don’t recall reading a book where I have shed so many tears.
Love Stories shares, reports and reimagines what love means through the creative mind and voice of one of our most vivid, raw and honest Australian story tellers.
Interlaced between the stories are typed letters from Trent to Kahtleen, Joni Mitchell, Whitney Houston, Fi and Eric. Dalton’s love letters paint real, funny and reflective moments. These letters sometimes feel like intimate journal entries and are a fitting tribute to Kathleen Kelly and her sky-blue vintage Olivetti typewriter. The kind of woman and friend’s mum who over the years collected and cut out clippings of Dalton’s journalistic work and pasted these into her beloved scrapbooks documenting the lives of those she loves. That kind.