The Twelfth Raven was published in March 2014 by UWA Publishing (University of Western Australia). The Twelfth Raven is a literary journey through a series of life-threatening health crises involving two of the leading causes of death and disability in Australia - heart disease and stroke.
The Age reported on 3 November 2012 that there are about 350,000 Australians living with stroke. Most of the book is written from the point of view of the carer (Doris' husband, Martin was the patient), but to round things off, in the final section, Doris becomes the patient again as she is diagnosed with the faulty BrCa gene (which gives a lifetime 87% chance of developing breast cancer and a 40% chance of ovarian cancer) and opts to have a preventative mastectomy and reconstruction. This section as well as resonating with the many thousands of women having mastectomies in Australia also opens up the area which a growing number of people are having to address - medical science's increased ability to detect faulty genes and the difficult issues of what to do about them.
'In The Twelfth Raven, poet and psychologist Doris Brett confronts these threats with honesty and clarity. The result is an illness memoir as memorable as Eating the Underworld (2001), her remarkable book about ovarian cancer.'
~ RACHEL ROBERTSON, Australian Book Review
See the full review here.
Eating the Underworld – a memoir in three voices, was published in September 2001 by Random House. Evocatively told via three voices – the diarist, the poet and the voice of fairy tale and myth – this memoir explores the intricate dynamics of family, truth and memory.
Her first volume of poetry, The Truth About Unicorns, won both the Fellowship of Australian Writers Anne Elder Award and the A.S.A.L. Mary Gilmore Award. Looking for Unicorns, her first novel, was published by New Endeavor Press in 1993. In the Constellation of the Crab, Doris’s latest book of poetry. was published by Hale & Iremonger in 1996. This collection includes award winning poems about women’s cancer (Winner: 1995 Northern Territory Premier’s Poetry Award, 1994 Queensland Premier’s Poetry Award, the 1994 F.A.W. John Shaw Neilson Award. Short listed: the 1997 NBC “Banjo” Awards for Australian Literature) and fascinating reinterpretations of fairy tales.
Brett's books of therapeutic storytelling for children, Annie Stories and More Anne Stories, were published in a number of territories including Australia, USA, Germany, Poland, Russia and Korea. Both titles are now out of print and Brett is at present working on combining both titles into an expanded and updated edition for a new generation of children.