Memoir/Biography

Memoir/Biography

Malachy by Dominic Frawley

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Malachy is very difficult to read at times, as a reader’s tears blur the text which beautifully relates the birth and subsequent traumas baby Malachy and his family endured. Impossible not to be moved by the shock of realising that the little newborn is not facing a joyous childhood, carefree and

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Memoir/Biography

The Brumby Wars by Anthony Sharwood

Reviewed by Ian Lipke Down around the Snowy ‘where the pine-clad ridges raise/ their torn and rugged battlements on high’ there’s a barney going on, and it’s a beauty. No confinement to angry words but rather ‘a fisticuffs at dawn’ sort of brawling. And the reason for all this ill-will remains blithely ignorant of all

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Memoir/Biography

The Brilliant Boy by Gideon Haigh

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve As is the case with many brilliant men, Herbert Vere Evatt (1894-1965) was a multi-faceted character. Scholastically brilliant, he was awarded J.D. (Juris Doctor) at a young age and, at 35, was a judge of the High Court, and henceforth known as ‘Doc’ Evatt. He was erudite and widely read which

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Memoir/Biography

Daughter of the River Country by Dianne O’Brien

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The loss of her identity and its roots in her cultural heritage did not prevent Dianne O’Brien from rising above the trauma of her early years of life. She has become highly regarded for her work with struggling and disadvantaged people. Dianne, and those like her, hold the key to our

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Memoir/Biography

Gun to the Head by Keith Banks

Reviewed by Ian Lipke The title of this book would lead the reader to assume that, given the career of Keith Banks, the reference is to the dangerous work he assumed during his career, that he is referring literally to some gangster holding a gun to his head and threatening to shoot him. There is

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Memoir/Biography

The Countess from Kirribilli by Joyce Morgan

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend Reading The Countess from Kirribilli is akin to falling into a rabbit hole situated within an elegantly landscaped garden, overlooking Sydney Harbour. The ‘fall’, through said rabbit hole, takes the form of a three-month voyage, after which readers and three-year-old Mary Annette Beauchamp step from La Hogue onto English soil in

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Memoir/Biography

Ethel Rosenberg – A Cold War Tragedy by Anne Sebba

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Ethel Rosenberg’s tragic life highlights a dark phase in post-war America. Its political and legal world was dominated by bigotry and fear, stoked by McCarthyism and the looming power of Hoover, head of the FBI. The devastation of the atom bomb, the growing threat of Russia, then Mao’s communism gripping China,

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Memoir/Biography

Life as Art by Della Rowley and Lynn Buchanan [eds]

Reviewed by Ian Lipke I must admit that until now I had never heard the name Hazel Rowley. I did not know that I had been missing the works of a writer of consummate prose. Here I distinguish, as I’m sure the editors do, between writing biographies and biographical writing. The first suggests writers researching,

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Memoir/Biography

House of Kwa by Mimi Kwa

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke As a writer and news anchor for TV networks for over twenty years, first with the ABC then Channel 9, Mimi Kwa felt compelled to write this memoir after opening a letter from her father which contained the following information: THE SUPREME COURT OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA Kwa v Kwa In the

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Memoir/Biography

How Stella Learned to Talk by Christina Hunger

Reviewed by Antonella Townsend Finally! Someone has cracked the language barrier between us and our very best friends – dogs.  Caring dog owners have always known that dogs can communicate, many of whom are fluent in dogese.  But a very clever person has taught her dog to speak English via an augmentative and alternative communication

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Memoir/Biography

Fury by Kathryn Heyman

Reviewed by Clare Brook We are all familiar with inequality that plagues our society; the grind of everyday life faced by those trapped within a low socio-economic environment.  We are aware of the unequal treatment, and often abuse, that many women suffer.  But there is a big difference between knowing and actually feeling the reality,

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Memoir/Biography

How Stella Learned to Talk by Christina Hunger

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve If a very young puppy is intelligent and is blessed with patient, time-rich owners, it could acquire communication skills as Stella, now living in San Diego California, has successfully done. Time is essential, but more critical is the dog, itself. Its qualities must include intelligence, attentiveness, persistence, eagerness to please and

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Memoir/Biography

Flash Jim by Kel Richards

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The life of James Hardy Vaux, convict author, is told by Kel Richards in an entertaining way which compliments nicely the colourful life of his subject. Vaux’s claim to fame lies with his compilation of Australia’s first dictionary. He also wrote an autobiography which, when published in London, sold well.  Vaux

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Memoir/Biography

The Beauty of Living Twice by Sharon Stone

Reviewed by Ian Lipke “You could be alone in the dark and be immersed in the light… you could always see the theatre and everyone in it – the flaws, the dirt, the empty food containers, the reality of it all…Call it what makes your heart sing; but call it with love, because that light

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Memoir/Biography

Heartsick by Jessie Stephens

Reviewed by Rod McLary The impetus for this book was – quite appropriately – a relationship breakup experienced by the author only days before she and her partner were due to travel overseas.  Bereft in an airport bookshop and failing to find a book – any book – which would ‘put words around how I’m

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