Memoir

Suzy Freeman-Greene reviews 'The Political is Personal: A 20th century memoir' by Judith Buckrich

Suzy Freeman-Greene

It is rare to read a memoir as joyfully insouciant about sex as Judith Buckrich’s The Political Is Personal. She describes the delicious state of discovering it, at seventeen, as ‘a sex haze’. At nineteen, she has an intense, dark-eyed boyfriend but is also sleeping with Morry, whose chief merit is his staying power in bed. ‘Once, to prove the point ... More

Alison Broinowski reviews 'Subtle Moments: Scenes on a life’s journey' by Bruce Grant

Alison Broinowski

Opposite a handsome portrait of him by Louis Kahan, Bruce Grant introduces his memoir of a ‘life’s journey’ by proposing that it is also a biography of Australia, and promising to revisit that on the last page. There, he summarises the plots of ‘Love in the Asian Century’, his recent trilogy of e-books, in which affairs between older men and younger women, ... More

Gillian Dooley reviews 'After' by Nikki Gemmell

Gillian Dooley

In 2015, Nikki Gemmell’s mother, Elayn, took an overdose of painkillers. Gemmell’s new book, After, chronicles the difficult process of confronting her mother’s death and resolving the anguish it brought to her and her children. It is also an impassioned appeal for changes in Australia’s laws on the right to die.

... More

Diana Bagnall reviews 'The Case Against Fragrance' by Kate Grenville

Diana Bagnall

Kate Grenville’s publisher wasn’t keen on her writing a book about fragrance. He would have preferred another novel from the author of ...

More

Elisabeth Holdsworth reviews 'Flight from the Brothers Grimm: A European- Australian memoir' by Valerie Murray

Elisabeth Holdsworth

Valerie Murray, born Valika Morelli in Hungary during World War II and, for the past half century, wife of poet Les Murray, has written an enchanting memoir of her early life in Europe and Australia. The description ‘enchanting’ is used deliberately. The brothers Grimm and their terrifying tales are deployed throughout the work. The metaphor extends to the writi ... More

Gillian Dooley reviews 'Only: A singular memoir' by Caroline Baum

Gillian Dooley

Some ‘only’ children have revelled in that status. Iris Murdoch called her family unit ‘a perfect trinity of love’. Caroline Baum sees her family less happily as a triangle: ‘There’s something uncomfortable about a triangle: it’s all elbows, suggesting awkward unease.’ We find out in the following 380-odd pages the whats and whys of this discomfort. ... More

Duncan Fardon reviews 'Scoundrel Days: A memoir' by Brentley Frazer

Duncan Fardon

Brentley Frazer, one of many scoundrels in his memoir Scoundrel Days, documents coming of age on the boundary of civilisation. His father’s vocation as the only policeman in a small northern Queensland mining town subjects Frazer to a chaotic side of life: a lockup only a stone’s throw from his bedroom; housing criminals and murderous poachers; bloodied ... More

Morag Fraser reviews 'Light and Shadow: Memoirs of a spy's son' by Mark Colvin

Morag Fraser

Mark Colvin’s fine memoir – of a journalist’s life and as a spy’s son – was completed before the Macquarie Dictionary chose ‘fake news’ as its word of the year, and the OED and Merriam-Webster opted for ‘post truth’ and ‘surreal’. In July 2016, as Colvin was writing his acknowledgments chapter, Donald Trump was being nominated ... More

Sue Bond reviews 'Saltwater' by Cathy McLennan

Sue Bond

This book is likely to anger many readers. Saltwater is about Cathy McLennan’s time as a barrister for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service on Palm Island and More

Kate Ryan reviews 'Poum and Alexandre: A Paris memoir' by Catherine de Saint Phalle

Kate Ryan

Catherine de Saint Phalle’s memoir brings us the developing consciousness of a star-struck but lonely child as she struggles to understand and negotiate parents who ...

More
Page 1 of 4