Margaret Whitlam

Canberra Tales by Margaret Barbalet, Sara Dowse, Suzanne Edgar, Marian Eldridge, Marion Halligan, Dorothy Horsefield, Dorothy Johnston

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November 1988, no. 106

Short stories are often disappointing, and this collection is no exception. What a pity that so much strength and force has been put into a book that lacks a plan and presents too many inconclusive pieces.

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Susan Mitchell’s fifteenth book is a biography of the Whitlams, published shortly before Gough’s death in November. As a broadcaster, journalist, and author who has examined the lives of prominent Australian women, Mitchell tells the story mainly from Margaret’s perspective. This is not surprising: Mitchell had already amassed a huge body of research for her book Margaret Whitlam: A Biography (2006), and had known her since the late 1970s. And, compared to his frank and affable wife, Gough was less willing to share his personal recollections.

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My Other World by Margaret Whitlam

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May 2001, no. 230

This book, My Other World, is in Margaret Whitlam’s words, ‘the story of my travels as the leader of group study tours around the world’ in the 1990s. It is also another episode in the life journey of a remarkable woman who has the capacity and the vitality to go on inventing new lives. Previously a swimming champion, social worker, suburban mother, prime minister’s and ambassador’s consort, advocate for adult education, Margaret Whitlam in her seventies embarked upon a new career as a travel guide, leading her companions not only into Britain, France and Italy, but also into China and Central America and the Russia and Siberia of the early 1990s. Now in her eighties, she has begun another life, writing her first book.

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