WELL DONE: Ipswich author, Dr Toni Risson, has been named as a finalist in the Courier Mail's People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award.
WELL DONE: Ipswich author, Dr Toni Risson, has been named as a finalist in the Courier Mail's People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award. Contributed

Author has all the write stuff on Greek cafe culture

AN IPSWICH author who penned a novel on Greek cafe culture and the families who ran a number of popular milk bars has been named as a finalist in The Courier-Mail People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year Award.

Dr Toni Risson from Woodend said she was shocked to find out her book, Brisbane's Greek Cafes: A Million Malted Milks, had made the top eight.

The finalists are chosen from the eligible Queensland-authored nominations in The University of Queensland Fiction Book Award and The University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award by the category judges.

"I was really chuffed," Dr Risson said.

"This is the first time I have been part of this competition and nominated as a finalist.

"There is so much competition in the People's Choice Awards. I am up against some great titles. It's a real David and Goliath scenario."

Dr Risson's book shares the stories of Greek families who were pioneers in the milk bar and cafe scene. They were passionate foodies who served up a wide range of dishes, including their specialty shakes and sundaes.

The book took her about three years to research and write.

"I won a fellowship from the State Library and spent a year working in the library trying to research all the Greek cafes in Brisbane. I then spent a year following up with stories with the families, and then the book was published in May this year," Dr Risson said.

"What I came to find was there were 72 Greek cafes in Brisbane in 1925, and a lot of them would have been in the CBD.

"I also know the Greeks are some of the most friendliest people you will ever meet, and it's important to share their stories because they are a big part of our cultural history."

This book is a follow-on from a book titled Aphrodite and the Mixed Grill, which was written in 2012 and focused on Greek-run cafes here in Ipswich.

Dr Risson is hoping the Ipswich community jumps onto the State Library of Queensland website to vote for her.

Voting is open now and closes on October 14.

To vote, log onto www.slq.qld.gov.au and select the Get Involved tab on the screen.



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