Biography and Memoir reviews

Mayhem by Sigrid Rausing

Reviewed by Jo Case

Sigrid Rausing is the editor (and owner) of Granta. Her grandfather built the Tetrapak global packaging empire. An heir to the resulting fortune, Rausing’s first memory is the smell and alienation of…

Read more ›

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein

Reviewed by Kara Nicholson

Writer and lawyer Sarah Krasnostein first met Sandra Pankhurst at a conference for forensic support services. Sandra’s business card advertises ‘specialised trauma cleaning’: ‘hoarding and pet hoardi…

Read more ›

Danger Music by Eddie Ayres

Reviewed by Marie Matteson

Eddie Ayres was 12 when he saw Afghanistan for the first time. It was on television. The Soviets had just invaded. He was 49 when he last left Afghanistan after teaching at the Afghanistan National I…

Read more ›

Logical Family by Armistead Maupin

Reviewed by Jason Austin

Armistead Maupin’s nine-volume Tales of the City chronicle is a cultural icon. Among other things, it’s the story of gay life in San Francisco from the late 1970s, through the AIDS crisis and ending …

Read more ›

How to Fall in Love with Anyone by Mandy Len Catron

Reviewed by Hilary Simmons

A couple of years ago, an essay was published in the New York Times under the undeniably compelling headline, ‘To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This’. It outlined 36 questions supposed to spark intima…

Read more ›

The Museum of Words by Georgia Blain

Reviewed by Stella Charls

I hadn’t read Georgia Blain until her last novel, Between a Wolf and a Dog, published early last year. Immediately I regretted not having read her work sooner, as it was clear from the first page tha…

Read more ›

Baby Lost by Hannah Robert

Reviewed by Britt Munro

During her second night in the ICU, after an accident that ended the life of her unborn baby, law lecturer Hannah Robert writes in her journal: ‘I dreamt that the sun was rising as the pieces of a sh…

Read more ›

Thirty Days by Mark Raphael Baker

Reviewed by Jo Case

Older readers (like me) might remember Mark Raphael Baker’s critically acclaimed, deeply moving family memoir, The Fiftieth Gate, about the experiences of his Holocaust survivor parents. His second b…

Read more ›

A Führer for a Father by Jim Davidson

Reviewed by Kara Nicholson

The life of Jim Davidson – prize-winning historian, academic and former editor of Meanjin – warrants a biography of its own. However, Davidson is clear from the first pages that this book is not an a…

Read more ›

No Way! Okay, Fine. by Brodie Lancaster

Reviewed by Kelsey Oldham

Brodie Lancaster’s first book is a memoir that fuses Lancaster’s love of pop culture and feminism to explore her quest for authentic identity and self-acceptance – even if the taboo of being an ‘adul…

Read more ›