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She cooked for the pleasure of watching others eat.She made iced sorrel soup, sauce, game pate with Juniper berries and brandy; she deep-fried courgette flowers dipped into a light batter and poached nasturtium leaves stuffed with cheese and herbs in oily white wine; she pounded olives and anchovy fillets and tuna fish soaked in freshly squeezed lemon juice to make flecked with fresh coriander and also hot curries; she stewed squids, steamed mussels, and flamed grilled sea-bass over beds of dried fennel. Rubbish, I tell myself as I make my way down the hall way.One day, she discovered that she could tuck small amounts of food in her cheeks and spit it out later in the toilet bowl. She would often study late at night and into the early hours of the morning.
She would do all this before closing the door on a house full of steep and head off to school.
At lunchtime, she would dream of fresh bread rolls while working on her maths under the stairs leading to the gymnasium.
She grew up in the French-speaking part of Belgium and studied Germanic philology at the university of Lige where she took an MA in literary translation.
1n 1985 she won a scholarship to read Australian literature at La Trobe University.
Next she would take a slice of bread and shake it above her plate.
She would then shove the slice of bread back into the paper bag and pour herself a cup of coffee she'd drink scalding and black.The daughter had said nothing to her mother at the time, but the mother had soon heard about the scandal, for such news travels fast, getting juicier and juicier as it passes from one mouth to the other.And so the mother who could see the sorrow on her daughter's face said that it was best to forget all about boys who were not worth their salt.She now lives in Melbourne with her husband and their three children, combining the pleasures and torments of motherhood with those of writing and teaching.She is the author of Then will your light shine like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed over. Over the last few weeks, it had, in fact, become harder each time for her to stick a needle in the rough husk the daughter's skin had become. The oily fluid would remain trapped between scales and bone, forming a cracking and oozing bubble on the surface.She cut out exotic recipes from magazines to paste in an exercise book.She borrowed gardening books and grew herbs in pots.During the holidays, the daughter invaded her mother's kitchen.She read cooking books from cover to cover, choosing elaborate recipes of rich dishes for every single day of the week, and more elaborate recipes of richer dishes for Sundays and birthdays.The daughter did well at school, yet neither mother nor father praised her.Nothing was dearer to the daughter by now that neither self-mortification nor distinction would bring love.