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16 December 2008 ·

Peeling the Onion flashback

A couple of months ago, 17 years to the day after the car accident that I based Peeling the Onion on, the current affairs program Today Tonight interviewed me about the near death experience that I’d described in the book. It’s something I’m still not comfortable talking about, but now that I’ve seen the finished piece, I’m glad I agreed to do it; it was respectfully and sensitively done.

Coincidentally, I was staying with a wonderful physiotherapist friend when the interview was done. She’s treated me often over the years, and each time I’ve had great results. Of course medical wisdom will tell you that there’s unlikely to be any improvement more than two years after an injury… luckily, this therapist doesn’t believe that, and neither do I. For the first time in 17 years, I’m walking without pain.

So there are many questions in life that I can’t answer – and some that I don’t want to. I prefer to accept what happened in my accident as it was, without trying to analyse or explain it. Peeling the Onion describes it as fully as words can describe an experience like that, and for me, there’s no point in discussing it more.

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Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio