Sixty minutes with Dr Lee Kofman promises to be a journey of discovery for everyone involved.
Her latest book, IMPERFECT, is part autobiography and the result of interviews with other people who have also faced the world with “imperfect “bodies.
Kofman sees herself as” a writer and a scarred woman” and she spoke to about 100 people during the course of writing the book which she started 10 years ago.
Her talk at Castle Hill Library on Tuesday, August 27 will be about how our bodies shape the people we have become,
She said talking about the book to people had been a positive experience after decades of trying to hide her scars.
Kofman was born in the Soviet Union with a congenital heart defect. Her father was a scientist and her mother an English/Russian translator.
She was eight years old when she underwent a heart operation which left her with major scars on her chest and armpits.
At the age of 10 she was hit by a bus driver crossing a road and sustained bad injuries to her left leg. She underwent multiple surgeries.
At the age of her 12 her family moved to Israel.
“In my Russian way I assumed my scars rendered me interesting so I showed them off,” she writes.
She found out in a hard way that It was definitely not the thing to do, and so started her journey of concealment. She felt shamed and diminished by appearance.
In her book she also talks to a woman about living with dwarfism and being a mother of a child with dwarfism.
She also talks to an African man now living in Australia who has albinism, a condition one her sons also has.
“I would love to shift our conversation about appearance and how we judge others as a society, how we feel about ourselves and how we make assumptions of others,” says Kofman.
She said women are dealing with mixed messages all the time, about looking the best they can and then being told to be happy with however they look.
“Women can be ashamed about letting themselves go and by beautifying themselves. We should give them some slack.”
Married with two sons, Kofman lives in Melbourne. IMPERFECT is her fifth book. She has also edited two anthologies. She is a poet, writing teacher and mentor.
Dr Lee Kofman will be talking at Castle Hill Library on Tuesday, August 27, 6.30pm – 7.30pm. Cost is $5.