Viking, $29.95 hb
It’s a clever and provocative title that Patsy Adam-Smith has chosen for her autobiography. She is a woman who has said many ‘goodbyes’ in her rich and adventurous life; and she is of an age and disposition where ‘girlie’ is heard as an endearment, not a put-down. Patsy AdamSmith is one of Australia’s greatest writers, although you will rarely hear the literati or the academics say so in public. As an historian she has been more widely read than Manning Clark (it would be interesting to know how many of the purchasers of Clark have been able to finish each volume); and she and Wendy Lowenstein have listened to the histories of more Australians than probably the rest of us put together. But she remains insignificant in the eyes of the theorists of oral memory and historical consciousness.