Helen Cerne & Serge Cerne

Shifting Cover

If we do not remember our childhoods do they still exist?

Shifting is the true story of two children growing up in in the aftermath of the Second World War. It is a collaborative autobiography, told from a male and female perspective. Attracted like a law of nature, Serge, a boy born in northern Italy and Helen, a girl born in Australia are inextricably drawn to each other in a changing world. A social history of the west of Melbourne in the 1950s-1960s, it is also a unique love story.


"A fine and impressive work. It is accomplished at a high literary standard, with an acute understanding of the way fictive-literary stratagems can be incorporated in an autobiographical work to achieve an engaging and richly rewarding text for the reader." - Kevin Brophy.

"The vivid and detailed recreation of the texture of the decades through which the characters live is one of the strengths of the novel." – Jeri Kroll.

"Shifting skilfully weaves and patterns two distinct voices and cultures… to create a tapestry full of evocative detail and memorable characters struggling with loss, new beginnings and love." – Tom Petsinis.

Author Bios:

Helen Cerne is a well-published Melbourne writer and has taught creative writing for many years in the western suburbs. Serge Cerne was a humanities teacher and artist. Helen and Serge were married for over 40 years and were involved in community arts, collaborating on several creative projects. Sadly Serge died a few months before Shifting was published.