Hilary McPhee reviews 'Eat First, Talk Later' by Beth Yahp

Hilary McPhee

Beth Yahp's beautifully crafted memoir of her ancestors, her parents, and herself is shaped around journeys criss-crossing the Malay Peninsula where her Siamese-speaking Eurasian mother and her Hakka Chinese father met and married in 1961. A photograph seems to have triggered the project – perhaps the lovely sepia cover shot of her parents on their honeymoon, sitt ... More

Brian Matthews reviews 'Island Home' by Tim Winton

Brian Matthews

Tim Winton's island home seethes and rings, whispers and beckons with sheer life. It tantalises through shreds of memories and phantom histories turned to stone or engraved in ocean-scored rocks and remote caves. Like William Blake's 'green and pleasant land', it is compromised but offers 'a World in a grain of sand / And a Heaven in a wild flower'. His isle, like P ... More

Bernadette Brennan reviews 'Second Half First' by Drusilla Modjeska

Bernadette Brennan

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 ... More

Shannon Burns reviews 'Something for the Pain' by Gerald Murnane

Shannon Burns

Narrators in Gerald Murnane’s novels and stories have occasionally scorned autobiography. Near the beginning of A Million Windows (2014), for example, we find: ‘Today, I understand that so-called autobiography is only one of the least worthy varieties of ficti ... More

Chris Flynn reviews 'Everything Is Teeth' by Evie Wyld and Joe Sumner

Chris Flynn

The age of apex narcissism has opened the publishing floodgates to myopic and often unnecessary confessionals, personal tales of shame and struggle that, in the past, would more likely have been recounted to a priest or therapist. The memoir genre is at its peak, and the descent may be swift and brutal.

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Joseph Rubbo reviews 'Lion Attack!' by Oliver Mol

Joseph Rubbo

Oliver Mol’s début memoir, Lion Attack!, began as an online series titled ‘34 Memories of Growing Up in Texas’. As he relates in the foreword, he wrote these pieces of ‘sudden memoir’ on consecutive days and then uploaded them straight to Facebook. It was only when the series was completed and collated that Mol thought he might have somethin ... More

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