Australian Women - Their Stories

Flying with paper wings; reflections on living with madness
Sandy Jeffs

With the onset of schizophrenia at the age of 23 Sandy's world falls apart.  In her story, Flying with Paper Wings, she offers insights into madness, as well as disturbing reflections on its causes and its care.  This is also the story of how poetry can become a personal saviour in the face of nearly irresistable forces.

The confession of an unrepentant lesbian ex-Morman
Sue-Ann Post

This is Sue-Ann's funny and uplifting account of her time in Salt Lake City with the friendly and welcoming excommunicated renegade Mormon gays and lesbians.  It also documents her inner grapplings with notions of faith, redemption, honesty and sexuality.

Piano lessons
Anna Goldsworthy

In this remarkable memoir, Anna recalls her first steps towards a life in music.  With wit and affection, she captures the hopes and uncertainties of youth, the fear and exhilaration of performing, and the complex bonds between teacher and student.

The Lucy family alphabet
Judith Lucy

The Lucy family alphabet is funny and ruthlessly honest, but also a moving tribute to the lunatics who raised one of Australia's best-known comedians.

When it rains
Maggie Mackellar

When Maggie's vibrant young husband dies tragically, Maggie is left widowed and due to give birth three months later to their second child.  Then her beloved mother dies suddenly of aggressive cancer.  In two short years, Maggie's life has shattered.  When it rains is a meditation on grief and the vagaries of the human condition, and a stunning memoir about piecing back together a life, and moving forward one step at a time.

Tell me the truth;conversations with my patients about life and death
Ranjana Srivastava

What is it like to tell someone 'I'm afraid you have cancer'?  How do you nourish hope while preserving human dignity at the end of a life?  These are just some of the questions that confront oncologist Ranjana Srivastava every day as she treats patients at one of Australia's busiest public hospitals.

Still smiling
June Dally-Watkins

The moving account of an illegitimate girl's amazing journey from country New South Wales to a romance with Gregory Peck off the set of Roman Holiday, to being one of Australia's most celebrated business women.

You'll be sorry when I'm dead
Marieke Hardy

Confessional, voyeuristic, painful, hilarious and heartfelt, You'll be sorry when I'm dead reveals the acerbic wit, unflinching gaze and razor-sharp insight of a writer at the height of her powers - or the unhinged fantasies of a dangerous mind with not enough to do.

Unpolished gem
Alice Pung

In a wonderland called Footscray, a girl named Alice and her Chinese-Cambodian family pursue the Australian dream - Asian Style.  Unpolished Gem is a book rich in comedy, a loving and irreverent portrait of a family, its everyday struggles and bittersweet triumphs.

The full catastrophe
Tracey Leonard

At twenty Tracey Leonard headed for one of the most gruelling jobs imaginable - that of volunteer nurse at Mother Teresa's home for the destitute and dying in Calcutta.  Four years later in search of another adventure, Tracey went to work in a remote Top End Aboriginal community.  She learned to love the place and its people, and had come to think of it as home when her life was radically altered by a car accident.  Tracey's recollections are at once hilarious and shocking, filled with a mordant humour that cuts through piety and cherishes the absurd.

All that happened at number 26
Denise Scott

Written with Denise's trademark candour, All that happened at number 26 is part memoir, part stand-up and completely beguiling.

Almost perfect
Kelly Denley

Aged 31, with seven children and an eighth on the way, a terminally ill father, retrenched husband and a suicidal child, Kelly Denley blames herself and knows everything has to change. This memoir is the story of Kelly's bid to prove she is more than just a mother and the dramatic action she takes to draw her family closer together.

Doreen Kartineryi: My Ngarrindjeri Calling
Doreen Kartinyeri and Sue Anderson

Doreen Kartinyeri was the key Ngarrindjeri spokeswoman at the Royal Commission into the building of the Hindmarsh Island Bridge, established the Aboriginal Family History Unit at the South Australian Museum and helped reunite members of the Stolen Generations. In this memoir, she reveals a deep-set desire for social justice, fuelled by passionate love and anger.