Tagmemoir

Elizabeth Jane – Free and First: Unlocking Your Ultimate Life

Independently published, Australia, 2023
Cover image by the author, painting entitled Into the Light

The shock of a relationship breakdown after many years of marriage was the catalyst for Elizabeth Jane’s quest to find the things that gave her joy and allowed her to discover the new and more fulfilled self she could be.

Barbie talks to Elizabeth Jane about Free and First: Unlocking Your Ultimate Life
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Milena Cifali – One Foot Forward

Echo Books, Australia, 2023
Design by Peter Gamble

Milena’s second contemplative work (following Mallacoota Time, Echo Books, 2020) continues the author’s process of ‘writing out’ the intensity of her experiences, joyous or traumatic.

Barbie spoke to Milena Cifali about One Foot Forward
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Sam Vincent – My Father and Other Animals

Black Inc, an imprint of Schwartz Books Pty Ltd, Australia, 2022; second edition 2023
Cover design Akiko Chan
Cover image Getty/221A

Sam Vincent’s memoir/philosophy about country, community and heritage is a highly readable work which has us both laughing at the author’s self-deprecatory accounts of his introduction to sustainable farming and deeply considering matters of succession, inheritance and First Nations connection with the land.

Barbie spoke to Sam Vincent about My Father and Other Animals
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Jane Crowley with Athol Salter – Beeswax and TALL Tales

Ventura Press, Australia, 2023
Cover design Deborah Parry Graphics
Front cover image Alamy; back cover images Keith Salter/iStock

Jane Crowley’s recounting of her dad’s tales from a lifetime working in the antiques, second hand and collectables industry is both a slice of Australian history and a deeply affecting memoir. It pays homage to her father, clearly to the reader a kind and charming man with a good dose of humour, self-deprecation and good old-fashioned gentlemanliness.

Jane Crowley talks to Barbie about Beeswax and TALL Tales
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Jessica Kirkness – The House With All the Lights On

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2023
Cover design Mika Tabata

This is an exquisite account of love and grief. It is also an informative and, for me, revelatory, (whilst impassioned) examination of the many social and political issues associated with the d/Deaf community.

Jessica Kirkness talks to Barbie about The House With All the Lights On
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Deidre Macken – growing grapes might be fun

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2023
Cover design Deborah Parry Graphics
Cover photographs Getty Images, iStock

While this book is a tree change memoir, I see it firstly as a work of philosophy. The stories, people and incidents recounted support the author’s reflections on life, on the fulfilment of our once imagined selves and on ageing.

Barbie speaks to Deidre Macken about growing grapes might be fun
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David Hume with Peter R. Murray – BLIND WITHOUT BARRIERS

Self-published, Australia, 2021
Design Marea Ormelas

David Hume has been blind since soon after his premature birth, it is thought because of the use of too much oxygen when he was in an incubator. At the time oxygen was commonly used in the treatment of premature babies.

David Hume talks to Barbie about BLIND WITHOUT BARRIERS
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Brad Guy – Freefall

Published for Brad Guy by Longueville Media P/L, Australia, 2023

The miracle of survival is not always so simple. Brad Guy and his tandem parachutist experienced a dramatic accident when their parachutes failed and they fell to earth from 15,000 feet.

Barbie talks to Brad Guy about Freefall (warning – includes brief references to Brad’s suicidal ideation)
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Lisa Gallate: Just Because – Love, Loss, Renewal

Pepper Press, an imprint of Fair Play Publishing, Australia, 2023
Cover design not acknowledged

Lisa Gallate has written part-memoir, part-manual in this forthright sharing of loss and grief from her own life.

Barbie spoke to Lisa Gallate about Just Because – Love, Loss, Renewal
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Jan Latta – Doing it my way

True to Life Books, Australia, 2022
Cover and internal design by Jan Latta

Jan Latta’s life, like this memoir, is a story of two parts. From the time she bolted out of school at age 14, she led a life of what can best be described as a heady mix of disastrous love affairs and work in the high end of town, where she produced glossies for ritzy hotel chains.

Barbie spoke to Jan Latta about Doing it my way
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Suzi J Jarvis – Just a girl who used to live here

Independently published, Australia, 2023
Layout and design by Artplan Graphics, Mongarlowe NSW
Cover photograph by Ted Jarvis

Suzi Jarvis has produced a deeply moving account of her life in this memoir, focused on her quest for a relationship with her mother, an enigmatic and, to the outside observer, generally not very likeable person.

Suzi Jarvis talks to Barbie about her memoir Just a girl who used to live here
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Katherine Kovacic – Seven Sisters

Harper Collins, Australia, 2023
Cover design by HarperCollins Design Studio

This is a book about the disjunct between law, our society and justice for the victims of domestic crimes. Its title points to the central injustice, the ancient stories of the seven sisters fleeing the unwanted attentions of an aggressive male.

Barbie talks to Katherine Kovacic about Seven Sisters
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Regina Petra Meyer  – Change of Course

Broadcast Books, Australia, 2022
Cover and text design by Hazel Lam
Cover photographs by Don Herbert Photography and from Regina Meyer’s collection

This memoir covers a short but colourful period of the author’s life when she was crewing sailing boats in the Caribbean. It is candid and detailed in its telling, the author at pains to show us herself, along with the people she bumped shoulders with and the many experiences her adventuring spirit gave rise to.

Barbie spoke to Regina Petra Meyer about Change of Course
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Toby Roberts  – Two Mums and a Dad

Bad Apple Press, Australia, 2021
Cover design by Bad Apple Press

Memoir can be a tricky medium. It’s a delicate balance between candour and sharing too much. What is left out is as important as that which remains. And then there is tone.

Toby Roberts talks about Two Mums and a Dad
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Heather Rose – nothing bad ever happens here

Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2022
Cover design Sandy Cull www.sandycull.com
Cover art One Hundred-Leaved Plant #3 by Alisa Galitsyna

This intimate philosophy-memoir remains on my heart since reading it. It is full of pain and of beauty, of deeply personal spiritual and physical experiences, of connection to place and of the active embrace of life with all the slaps in the face and warm hugs it delivers.

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