Memoir

 

The Good Ship Mirka

The Good Ship Mirka

Barbara Blackman
Melbourne in the Fifties The ancient wisdom of the enneagram—that diagram of two inter-locking triangles within the circle that graphs the magic power of seven—suggests that for a creative act or new configuration to take place, there must be an ...
Notes for the Book of Summers

Notes for the Book of Summers

Barbara Brooks
1. The North Coast When you go to the north coast, drive in light rain and arrive in sunshine, for contrast. Notice the greenness, the closeness of the border, and the beginning of subtropical landscapes. Play old Rolling Stones ...
Letter to a New York Editor

Letter to a New York Editor

Janette Turner Hospital
12 November 1984 Dear ——, As always, I have found this editing process as traumatic as it is essential. It costs me sleep and blood and acute anxiety. I become very depressed when I realize that my major concerns and ...
Who Talks of Victory?

Who Talks of Victory?

Elizabeth Jolley
When I was little I was always very interested in big women who shamelessly mentioned their knickers in front of my father. These women sometimes sang fragments of music, often quite difficult passages in which there might be two violins, ...
A Handbook of Rare Vegetables

A Handbook of Rare Vegetables

Drusilla Modjeska
After the divorce they sold the house in the country. My mother moved the furniture into a small house on the edge of town. It was pretty enough, the new house, in an English sort of a way, with clematis ...
The First Ten Years

The First Ten Years

Ruth Cracknell
It's extraordinary to look back, over all those years. I remember, as a child, looking forward to a stretch of time that seemed endless, a point that, as I gazed at the nearest elderly relative, was beyond her comprehension, or ...
Letter From Prague: On The Fourth Night Of The Invasion

Letter From Prague: On The Fourth Night Of The Invasion

David Martin, David Martin
Dear Editor, I am sitting in P's study, at the solid commodious desk which you know so well; it has a glass top under which he has stuck picture postcards from all over Europe. It is Friday, 23 August, night ...
Remembrance of Things Past: A Pint of Sherry with Hilaire Belloc

Remembrance of Things Past: A Pint of Sherry with Hilaire Belloc

A.R. Chisholm
Hilaire Belloc invaded my little world when, as a first-year Arts student in Sydney, I read The Path to Rome. That does not mean, of course, that it was in the syllabus: authors in those conservative days were academically disqualified ...
Snakes

Snakes

Miles Franklin, Miles Franklin
My freedom from certain fears does not include tolerance of snakes. From infancy my elders implanted in me: their own fear of these reptiles and it took root and grew to an unconquerable revulsion. Even pictured snakes horrify me; the ...
Remembrance of Things Past: 2) How Biochemistry Came to Melbourne

Remembrance of Things Past: 2) How Biochemistry Came to Melbourne

W.A. Osborne
When I took up duty in the University of Melbourne as professor of physiology in March 1904 I soon discovered that the students had little knowledge of the chemistry which is most serviceable in physiology, pathology and medicine—the chemistry of ...
I Sinned Against Syntax

I Sinned Against Syntax

Xavier Herbert
No dog with a multiplicity of tails was ever as proud as I when informed that I had been awarded the Australian Literature Society's Gold Medal in 1940 for that novel of mine, Capricornia. Never before in my life had ...
London Days

London Days

Vance Palmer
When I returned to London, in 1910, it was with a little more assurance than I had felt a few years earlier. Then I had been intensely conscious of my youth, my lack of experience, my incapacity for anything but ...
A Morning in School

A Morning in School

Zenta Mauriņa
The darkest point in my high school life was the mathematics teacher, Gadebsky. I name him here by his real name, perhaps from a feeling of revenge. He, rather than my crippled state, was the source of most of my ...