Biography and memoir

Eventually Everything Connects: Eight Essays on Uncertainty by Sarah Firth

Reviewed by Bernard Caleo

Sarah Firth is a Melbourne cartoonist, who (among her other arts practices) produces drawings-plus-words documentation of meetings and presentations, so that participants and attendees later have a record of what was discussed, and the ideas that arose live in that…

Read more ›

Rental Person Who Does Nothing: A Memoir by Shoji Morimoto & Angus Turvill (trans.)

Reviewed by Margaret Snowdon

This is a memoir from someone who rents nothing and describes themselves as having ‘zero spec’ or no special qualities. In the foreword, Shoji Morimoto says he worked with a writer and an editor, and typically, despite the book materialising…

Read more ›

George: A Magpie Memoir by Frieda Hughes

Reviewed by Joanna Di Mattia

I’ll confess I wanted to review this memoir, in part, because of a prying curiosity. What might the daughter of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes reveal to me about her parents, that I don’t already know? Frieda Hughes, a painter…

Read more ›

Arrangements in Blue: Notes on Love and Making a Life by Amy Key

Reviewed by Joanna Di Mattia

What if being single isn’t a transient state? Is a life without romantic love necessarily intolerable? These are just two of the tough, weighty questions from which Amy Key’s introspective and raw memoir unspools. Now in her mid-40s, Key hasn’t…

Read more ›

Wifedom: Mrs Orwell’s Invisible Life by Anna Funder

Reviewed by Megan Wood

Anna Funder’s new masterpiece, Wifedom, is the story of the invisible life of George Orwell’s wife, Eileen O’Shaughnessy. It is a brilliant work of counter-fiction that uses letters written by O’Shaughnessy during her marriage to Orwell, the many biographies…

Read more ›

Half Deaf, Completely Mad by Tony Cohen with John Olson

Reviewed by Pierre Sutcliffe

As a wannabe hippy, young Tony Cohen found enough trouble with his school, parents and the law for his family to decide to help him find a job in the music business. Obsessed with music, he did work experience at…

Read more ›

Heartbake by Charlotte Ree

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

Heartbake is a call to arms written by a tenacious and hungry woman. This is the type of book you read because you understand that reading another person’s story can give voice to your experiences and, good lord, it is…

Read more ›

Fat Girl Dancing: A Memoir by Kris Kneen

Reviewed by Clare Millar

Kris Kneen is quite the force in Australian literature. Fat Girl Dancing, their latest memoir, confirms Kneen as an outstanding writer. This is a memoir of fatness, and Kneen’s journey with their body, both in terms of gaining and…

Read more ›

Graft: Motherhood, Family and a Year on the Land by Maggie MacKellar

Reviewed by Elke Power

In any study of nature, there must be some attempt to grapple with the cycles of life. Maggie MacKellar has perhaps had more cause than most to contemplate these rhythms. In Graft, which is billed as a memoir of…

Read more ›

I Had a Father in Karratha by Annette Trevitt

Reviewed by Kealy Siryj

Following the sudden death of her father, Annette Trevitt becomes a regular visitor to Karratha as the executor of her father’s will. What follows is an almost three-year journey to untangle the web he has left behind. Between Karratha and…

Read more ›