Second Half First: A Memoir by Drusilla Modjeska

by
November 2015, no. 376
Bernadette Brennan reviews 'Second Half First' by Drusilla Modjeska

Second Half First: A Memoir

by Drusilla Modjeska

Knopf, $39.99 hb, 378 pp, 9780857989796

Second Half First: A Memoir by Drusilla Modjeska

by
November 2015, no. 376

Twenty-five years ago, Drusilla Modjeska's Poppy reimagined boldly the possibilities for Australian memoir. Modjeska recounts in her new memoir, Second Half First, how in her inaugural appearance at a writers' festival she was on a panel discussing autobiography with two established British writers, Victoria Glendinning and Andrew Motion. Poppy was written but not yet released. Feeling at a disadvantage following on from such accomplished performers, she rose with conviction to announce that 'here in Australia we were thinking about what biography might mean if we took as our subjects those who are not usually considered "worthy" of "A Life"'. She wondered how the inclusion of something of the biographer's own story might contribute to a deeper understanding of how 'a life became a narrative'. Glendinning patronisingly found the idea 'extraordinary'. 'We're not thinking about that in England,' she said.

Bernadette Brennan reviews 'Second Half First' by Drusilla Modjeska

Second Half First: A Memoir

by Drusilla Modjeska

Knopf, $39.99 hb, 378 pp, 9780857989796

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.