An email written from a Sydney priest to a Melbourne author saying how much he enjoyed her latest book was the catalyst for an enduring and surprising friendship. Over the years they discussed everything from dinner party menus and shoes to family, faith, grief and love. Their correspondence has been collected in The Attachment, described as ‘a demonstration of how to have a conversation and a friendship’. Ailsa Piper and Tony Doherty join Margot Saville and share the story of their friendship. 

Ailsa Piper (Australian)

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Ailsa Piper is a storyteller, having worked as a playwright, dramaturg, director, actor, teacher, speaker and broadcaster. Writing highlights include being co-winner of the Patrick White Playwright's Award in 2001, and the publication in 2012 of her travel memoir, Sinning Across Spain. She has judged the NSW and Victorian Premiers Literary Awards seven times, and also performs Wordwalks, monologues celebrating poetry, walking and landscape. Ailsa is co-author, with Tony Doherty, of The Attachment: Letters From A Most Unlikely Friendship.

Tony Doherty (Australian)

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Tony Doherty was parish priest at Rose Bay in Sydney for twelve years before which he was Dean of St Marys Cathedral. This followed decades of work in adult education. Throughout his fifty-plus years as a priest he has written and published widely in a quest to demystify religious language. His recent book The Attachment (co-authored with Ailsa Piper) attests to the importance he places in good conversation and salt water. A passionate reader, he swims daily in his beloved Sydney Harbour.

Margot Saville (Australian)

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Freelance writer and editor (and Twitter addict), Margot Saville graduated in arts/law from the University of Sydney and practised as a lawyer for a year before entering journalism. Since then she has worked for The Australian, the ABC, the Nine Network and The Sydney Morning Herald, writing about business and politics. In 2007, Margot wrote The Battle for Bennelong, about about Maxine McKew's political coup.