You'll Be Sorry When I'm Dead by Marieke Hardy

Marieke Hardy attracts strong reactions – fans and haters – and if you’re in either camp, this book of essays is unlikely to change your mind. But if you’re unfamiliar with Ms Hardy, or only know her as ‘the one with the racy outfits’ from ABC TV’s First Tuesday Book Club, it’s well worth sampling her prose and finding out where you fall.

Me, I’m partial to Marieke’s blend of sassy wordplay, lefty politics and frank, funny confessionals. I was entertained by her recollections of acting on The Henderson Kids and writing for Neighbours; memories of stalking Joey Dee from Young Talent Time (a crush that ended after she scored an invite to afternoon tea), and the inside story of her public infatuation with political clown Bob Ellis, including an awkward weekend at his house (grotesquely fascinating and very funny).


A common thread in many of these essays is Hardy’s expectations being turned on their head, and it’s this element that is most engaging. A fantasy of sex with prostitutes is not just disappointing, but mortifying. Her idols prove flawed. In an essay I found deeply touching, she writes about being an initially reluctant half-time stepmother, then her relationship buckling under the grief of the child’s loss after the mother moved interstate. These moments of reflection, the moments where Hardy makes herself truly vulnerable, break through the consciously self-deprecating, relentlessly witty persona and really shine. You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead is a thoroughly entertaining read – and even better, it’s intermittently surprising, touching, and genuinely revelatory.

Jo Case is the editor of

You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead

A book by

Cover image for You'll Be Sorry When I'm Dead

You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead

Marieke Hardy

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