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Vanessa Berry is a Sydney writer and artist who works with history, memory and archives. She is the author of the memoir Ninety9 (Giramondo 2013); the ‘autobiographical almanac’ Strawberry Hills Forever (Local Consumption 2007); Mirror Sydney (Giramondo 2017), an essayistic atlas exploring the city’s marginal places and undercurrents which won the Mascara Review’s Avant-garde Award for nonfiction in 2018 and was longlisted for the 2018 ABIAs and Waverly NIB Award; and Gentle and Fierce (Giramondo 2021), an essay collection on humans’ relationships with animals. Her zines and hand-drawn maps have been exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Gallery of Australia and the Museum of Sydney. Her longest-running zine, I Am a Camera, was first issued in 1999. Mirror Sydney, which grew out of a blog of the same name she began in 2012, was launched as a podcast in 2020 hosted by Berry.
Vanessa Berry is an ideal observer because she accords everything she sees the respect of acknowledging the premises it was founded on. Her writing is thoroughly informed as well as affectionate and funny, and often deeply movingLucy Sante