Australian Biographies & Memoir 2015

The Forgotten Notebook

The Forgotten Notebook

Betty Churcher

The Forgotten Notebook is based on sketches Betty Churcher drew in the great galleries of the world when she raced through them as director of the National Gallery of Australia in the 1990s on her way to arrange the loans of...

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Born to Rule

Born to Rule

Paddy Manning

Unravels the many layers of the 29th Prime Minister of Australia.The highs and lows of Malcolm Turnbull's remarkable career are documented here in technicolour detail by journalist Paddy Manning. Based on countless interviews and...

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Big Blue Sky: A Memoir

Big Blue Sky: A Memoir

Peter Garrett

Peter Garrett's life has been fully and passionately lived. A man of boundless energy, compassion, intelligence and creativity, he has already achieved enough to fill several lives. From his idyllic childhood growing up in the...

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Inside: The Autobiography

Inside: The Autobiography

Chris Judd

Few people know Australian Rules football better than Chris Judd. He's one of the game's out - and - out champions, having captained two of the greatest clubs in the league - the West Coast Eagles and Carlton - and taken the...

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 Read reviewSix Square Metres: Reflections From A Small Garden

Six Square Metres: Reflections From A Small Garden

Margaret Simons

Life lessons from the ground up.

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Plain-Speaking Jane

Plain-Speaking Jane

Jane Caro

Jane Caro writes a fearless and frank memoir about career, family, feminism, mental illness, and what happens when they mix.

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Reckoning: A Memoir

Reckoning: A Memoir

Magda Szubanski

If you had met my father you would never, not for an instant, have thought he was an assassin.

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Island Home: A Landscape Memoir

Island Home: A Landscape Memoir

Tim Winton

Island Home is a thought-provoking meditation on Australia and its landscape: how the land has profoundly shaped the nation, and how it has influenced the life and writing of im Winton.

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Interestingly Enough... The Life Of Tom Keneally

Interestingly Enough… The Life Of Tom Keneally

Stephany Evans Steggall

'Tom stands among our great artists . . . a writer whose writing life parallels, exemplifies and is one of the crowning achievements of the Australian literature that came into being in our lifetime.' RICHARD FLANAGAN<br...

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Modern Love

Modern Love

Lesley Harding, Kendrah Morgan

Much has been written about the lives and art of Heide, but finally the remaining members of the inner circle have entrusted the truth to be told through this intimate biography of John and Sunday Reed. Equal parts romance and...

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Second Half First

Second Half First

Drusilla Modjeska

Beginning with the disastrous events of the night before her fortieth birthday, in Second Half First Drusilla Modjeska looks back on the experiences of the past thirty years that have shaped her writing, her reading and...

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The Long Haul: Lessons from Public Life

The Long Haul: Lessons from Public Life

John Brumby

Distils a series of practical lessons on leadership and public life from John Brumby's thirty years in politics. It offers insights into the challenges and opportunities Australia currently faces and argues for real political...

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A Mother's Story

A Mother’s Story

Rosie Batty, Bryce Corbett

An updated edition of the profoundly moving and inspiring memoir from Australia's domestic violence crusader, Rosie Batty. Rosie Batty knows pain no woman should have to suffer. Her son was killed by his father in a violent...

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On Bunyah

On Bunyah

Les Murray

On Bunyah's poems and images (both full colour and black and white) depict Les Murray's rural home town and its surrounding landscape as only he knows it. Chosen from Murray's entire career, this book contains some of his...

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Something For The Pain: A Memoir of the Turf

Something For The Pain: A Memoir of the Turf

Gerald Murnane

As a boy, Gerald Murnane became obsessed with horse racing. He had never ridden a horse, nor seen a race. Yet he was fascinated by photos of horse races in the Sporting Globe, and by the incantation of horses' names in radio...

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 Read reviewWendy Whiteley And The Secret Garden

Wendy Whiteley And The Secret Garden

Janet Hawley

For more than twenty years Wendy Whiteley has worked to create a public garden at the foot of her harbourside home in Sydney's Lavender Bay. This is the extraordinary story of how a determined, passionate and deeply creative woman...

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Country Women and the Colour Bar: Grassroots Activism and the Country Women's Association

Country Women and the Colour Bar: Grassroots Activism and the Country Women’s Association

Jennifer Jones

Country women and the colour bar is a timely corrective to established ideas about race relations in rural New South Wales by revealing the untold story of grassroots efforts by Aboriginal and white women, working together. In the...

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 Special priceHenry and Banjo

Henry and Banjo

James Knight

The fascinating lives and turbulent times of Henry Lawson and Andrew 'Banjo' Paterson - the two men who wrote Australia's story.

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Flesh Wounds

Flesh Wounds

Richard Glover

A mother who invented her past, a father who was often absent, a son who wondered if this could really be his family. Richard Glover's favourite dinner party game is called 'Who's Got the Weirdest Parents?'. It's a game he always...

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 Read reviewThe Anti-Cool Girl

The Anti-Cool Girl

Rosie Waterland

A dark, funny and subversive memoir about surviving the very worst that life can throw at you, Rosie Waterland's story of her coming of age is a blackly comic Australian memoir for our times and a clarion call for all anti-cool...

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 Read reviewThe Girl Who Lived

The Girl Who Lived

Susan Berg

At fifteen, Susan Berg was on a boat trip with her parents and brother when their vessel began to sink. Desperate to find help, she swam ahead, struggling through darkness and rough sea. After nearly four hours, Susan, exhausted...

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 Read reviewSmall Acts of Disappearance

Small Acts of Disappearance

Fiona Wright

Small Acts of Disappearance is a collection of ten essays that describes the authors affliction with an eating disorder which begins in high school, and escalates into life-threatening anorexia over the next ten years. Fiona...

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These Things Happen

These Things Happen

Greg Fleet

Greg Fleet's memoir chronicles his two lives: his rise and rise in the comedy world, and his dark descent into heroin addiction.

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 Read reviewNot Just Black and White

Not Just Black and White

Lesley Williams, Tammy Williams

Two remarkable women tell an inspirational story about the power of family and pursuing your dreams. Lesley Williams is forced to leave Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement and her family at a young age to work as a domestic servant....

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Boyhoodlum

Boyhoodlum

Anson Cameron

You know those childhood memoirs that tell of the innocence of youth, of a gentle past when boys and girls were adorable and agreeable, respectful of their elders, and spoke only when spoken to? This isn't one of those. ...

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Banksia Lady: Celia Rosser - Botanical Artist

Banksia Lady: Celia Rosser - Botanical Artist

Carolyn Landon

This is the story of Celia Rosser, internationally acclaimed Botanical Illustrator, who ultimately dedicated her life to painting the entire genus of Banksia, the only artist to have done such a thing. Her dedication to the task...

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Older and Bolder: Life After 60

Older and Bolder: Life After 60

Renata Singer

For the first time in history, women can expect to live well from their sixties for another three decades. In Older and Bolder, Renata Singer contrasts the stories of the pioneers of active, productive old age against the...

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Everything is Teeth

Everything is Teeth

Evie Wyld, Joe Sumner

An intimate and unique visual memoir by the multi-prizewinning Evie Wyld.

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Vera: My Story

Vera: My Story

Vera Wasowski, Robert Hillman

My revenge on Hitler is a lifetime in which delight has reached me from a hundred sources, and been welcomed.' - Vera Wasowski. A story of courage, unconventionality and lust for life. Vera Wasowski was just seven years old when...

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 Read reviewOld Man's Story: The Last Thoughts of Kakadu Elder Bill Neidjie

Old Man’s Story: The Last Thoughts of Kakadu Elder Bill Neidjie

Bill Neidjie, Mark Lang

Right then,' he said with a sigh, and then turned to me with a grin. 'I tell you story, eh!' Then he said something which really floored me: 'I been waiting for you. You been waiting for me.' And so began Bill Neidjie's...

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We Are Here

We Are Here

Cat Thao Nguyen

Told through the bright and unflinching eyes of Cat Thao, a daughter born in a refugee camp, We Are Here is a memoir that begins in 1975 with her family's gripping exodus by foot out of post-war Vietnam - a dangerous journey,...

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My Story

My Story

Julia Gillard

I was prime minister for three years and three days.Three years and three days of resilience.Three years and three days of changing the nation.Three years and three days for you to judge.' On Wednesday 23 June 2010, with the...

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Here Comes the Sun

Here Comes the Sun

Jeremy Oxley, Mary Oxley-Griffiths

Jeremy Oxley was diagnosed with schizophrenia aged 22, at the height of his fame as singer of the popular band Sunnyboys. Terrified and in denial, he tried to hide his diagnosis from family, band mates and friends, who attributed...

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 Read reviewAfter The Blast: An Australian Officer In Iraq And Afghanistan

After The Blast: An Australian Officer In Iraq And Afghanistan

Garth Callender

A very Australian story of heroism and healing. In 2004 Garth Callender, a junior cavalry officer, was deployed to Iraq. He quickly found his feet leading convoys of armoured vehicles through the streets of Baghdad and into the...

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Maverick Mountaineer

Maverick Mountaineer

Robert Wainwright

The first full-length biography of George Ingle Finch - maverick Australian mountaineer, scientist, concert pianist and father of actor Peter Finch. George Ingle Finch, mountaineer, soldier, scientist, rebellious...

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The Short Long Book

The Short Long Book

Martin Flanagan

A portrait of Michael Long, the man who changed the Australian game.In 1995, Aboriginal footballer Michael Long gave the AFL its ‘Mandela moment'. He quietly revolutionised Australian sport by refusing...

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Shining: The Story of a Lucky Man

Shining: The Story of a Lucky Man

Abdi Aden, Robert Hillman

A remarkably warm-hearted, uplifting and inspiring story of one boy's survival against the odds. Abdi's world fell apart when he was only fifteen and Somalia's vicious civil war hit Mogadishu. Unable to find his family and...

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Good Muslim Boy

Good Muslim Boy

Osamah Sami

Good Muslim Boy is a hilarious and heartbreaking memoir of loss, love and family. It's about what we'll do to live up to expectations - and what we must do to live with ourselves.

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Lost Relations: Fortunes of my Family in Australia's Golden Age

Lost Relations: Fortunes of my Family in Australia’s Golden Age

Graeme Davison

Historian Graeme Davison was never interested in family history. But when he discovered in his grandfather's notebook an account of the family's arrival in Melbourne in 1850 on the infamous ship Culloden, his interest was piqued.

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Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather

Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather

Karen Lamb

Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather is the long-awaited biography of one of Australia's most beloved authors.

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Gittins: A Life Among Budgets, Bulldust and Bastardry

Gittins: A Life Among Budgets, Bulldust and Bastardry

Ross Gittins

For forty years Ross Gittins has had a ringside seat as the Australian economy has gone through radical change. He's covered forty budgets and sixteen elections, he's watched thirteen treasurers and eight prime ministers wrestle...

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 Read reviewFallen

Fallen

Rochelle Siemienowicz

'Call me Eve. It's the name I call myself when I think back to that time when I was a young wife - so very young, so very hungry. I picked the fruit and ate and drank until I was drunk with freedom and covered injuice...

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Settling Day: A Memoir

Settling Day: A Memoir

Kate Howarth

The much-awaited sequel to the The Age Non-fiction Book of the Year winner Ten Hail MarysFollowing on from Ten Hail Marys, which chronicled her volatile upbringing and the fight to save her son from...

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 Read reviewLion Attack!: I'm Trying To Be Honest And I Want You To KnowThat

Lion Attack!: I’m Trying To Be Honest And I Want You To KnowThat

Oliver Mol

From the inaugural co-winner of the Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers comes a funny, energetic and original coming-of-age story that isn't quite like any other book you'll read this year.Oliver is a writer...

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One Life: My Mother's Story

One Life: My Mother’s Story

Kate Grenville

When the author's mother died she left behind many fragments of memoir. Using these memoirs as the starting point, this book tells the story of a woman whose life spanned a century of tumult and change. It is a daughter's intimate...

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We're All Going To Die (Especially Me)

We’re All Going To Die (Especially Me)

Joel Meares

My late twenties have felt like a series of slow - motion epiphanies, each one sneaking up before slapping me in my newly acquired jowls. Everything I said I'd do 'by the time I'm thirty' as a glassy - eyed graduate is now in the...

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First Things First: Selected letters of Kate Llewellyn 1977-2004

First Things First: Selected letters of Kate Llewellyn 1977-2004

Kate Llewellyn, Barbara Hill

Here for the first time are selected letters from the private correspondence of one of Australia's most loved authors, Kate Llewellyn (The Waterlily, A Fig at the Gate). Written with her distinctive ardour and enthusiasm, skipping...

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Bearing Witness: The Remarkable Life of Charles Bean, Australia's Greatest War Correspondent

Bearing Witness: The Remarkable Life of Charles Bean, Australia’s Greatest War Correspondent

Peter Rees

'Peter Rees has done what no one else has managed: read the vast Bean archive and get inside the head of the most influential figure in Australia's military history. Rees's superb book shows how Bean bore witness to Australia's...

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Memoirs Of An Anzac: A First-Hand Account By An Aif OfficerIn The FirstWorld War

Memoirs Of An Anzac: A First-Hand Account By An Aif OfficerIn The FirstWorld War

John Charles Barrie, Ross McMullin

Against his mother's wishes, John Charles Barrie joined the Australian army in 1909. Five years later, he was on his way to Egypt as an officer with the Australian Imperial Force. He survived the war to write his memoirs, which...

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 Read reviewHello, Beautiful!: Scenes From A Life

Hello, Beautiful!: Scenes From A Life

Hannie Rayson

I realise that, despite all the references to my longing to be a writer, two things are apparent.The first is that I don't actually do much writing; the second is that my teenage reflections display...

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Windsor's Way

Windsor’s Way

Tony Windsor

Born and bred in north - western New South Wales, Tony Windsor has held the balance of power in state and federal parliaments for nearly a third of his public life. He has always stood as an Independent, believing it was the only...

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Passing Clouds: A Winemaker's Journey

Passing Clouds: A Winemaker’s Journey

Graeme Leith

Electrician, Graeme Leith joined Melbourne's theatre collective at Carton's famously innovative Pram Factory Theatre and said 'let there be light'. And there was; Graham Blundell, Jack Hibberd, Max Gillies and many others produced...

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Becoming Westerly: The Transformation of Surfing Champion Peter Drouyn into Westerly Windina

Becoming Westerly: The Transformation of Surfing Champion Peter Drouyn into Westerly Windina

Jamie Brisick

'Peter was always looking for a princess, he wanted to find his princess. Unfortunately, the princess was me. I'm the princess that Peter always wanted but never met.' Westerly Windina'Westerly's affection for Peter comes in many...

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Under A Bilari Tree I Born

Under A Bilari Tree I Born

Alice Bilari Smith

This is Alice's insightful and inspiring story - the story of a life that is remarkable and yet typical of Australia's strong country women.

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With Every Step: A Son's Quest And A Father's Promise

With Every Step: A Son’s Quest And A Father’s Promise

Neil Cadigan

In late 2010 Andrew 'Cad' Cadigan quit his job, sold his home and set out to walk around Australia. He was doing it in honour of a mate, Chris Simpson, who had recently succumbed to a rare pre-leukaemia condition.

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Bradman's War

Bradman’s War

Malcolm Knox

Published to coincide with the 2013 Ashes Test series between England and Australia, this is the extraordinary story of how the 1948 Invincibles turned the cricket pitch into a battlefield.

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Before I Sleep: My Life Fighting Crime and Corruption

Before I Sleep: My Life Fighting Crime and Corruption

Ray Whitrod

In the early 1970s, Queensland was a haven for crooks from both sides of the law. It was into this hothouse that Ray Whitrod was controversially appointed as police commissioner in 1970. Just six years later he resigned from the...

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