Sheila Fitzpatrick

Sheila Fitzpatrick reviews Biff Ward's 'In My Mother's Hands'

Sheila Fitzpatrick
Tuesday, 22 July 2014

For anyone who has ever complained about a difficult mother, or written a memoir about one, this is a humbling book. How trivial, by comparison, our complaints seem. The subtitle promises (or threatens) a disturbing memoir, and so it is. I found it difficult to get out of my head days after reading it.

Biff (born Elizabeth in 1942) Ward was the second child ...

Sheila Fitzpatrick on history vs memoir

Sheila Fitzpatrick
Tuesday, 27 May 2014

In Iris Murdoch’s novel, The Sandcastle (1957), a young artist called Rain Carter is commissioned to paint a retired schoolmaster, Demoyte, an eccentric with an offbeat sense of humour. Instead of his usual attire – a shabby red velvet jacket with tobacco stains and bow tie – Demoyte turns up ...

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Sheila Fitzpatrick reviews the new biography of Alma Moodie

Sheila Fitzpatrick
Friday, 17 January 2014

Alma Moodie’s story is remarkable, which makes it all the stranger that she has been so thoroughly forgotten. A frail child prodigy from central Queensland, she became Carl Flesch’s favourite pupil and a renowned concert violinist in Germany after World War I, friend and performer of most of the great figures of international contemporary music, from Max R ...

Open Page with Sheila Fitzpatrick

Monday, 30 September 2013

Why do you write?

I like words, though making music is even better. Writing is almost as good as playing the violin.

Are you a vivid dreamer?

I don’t know about vivid, but ever since I was an exchange student in Moscow in the 1960s I have had a repetitive dream ab ...

In the Moscow archives

Sheila Fitzpatrick
Thursday, 22 August 2013
Distinguished Soviet historian Sheila Fitzpatrick – now back in Australia – writes about her remarkable experiences in Moscow from 1966 and about the perils of being an exchange student and researcher. ... (read more)

Sheila Fitzpatrick reviews a new biography of Ryszard Kapuściński

Sheila Fitzpatrick
Wednesday, 30 January 2013

A famous Polish communist foreign correspondent? It sounds like a contradiction in terms, but actually Ryszard Kapuściński did achieve international fame towards the end of the Cold War, after a highly successful career covering the Third World for leading media in the People’s Republic of Poland from the 1950s. Africa and, later, Latin America were his s ...

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