Thursday, June 25, 2015

Memoir Club: Anne Gorman in conversation with Julie Bail

Tuesday, 30 June 2015
6.00 - 9.00 PM

The Randwick Literary Institute,
60 Clovelly Road, Randwick 2031

“My mother had 10 children in 10 years. Now, how does anybody really discipline and control a group like that? I had always thought our family was dysfunctional because there were too many individuals in it and it was too much of a strain on our mother. When I had my fifth baby and the eldest was six I thought, I’m going down exactly the same path and I’m not going to have it. I don’t care what the church says – it was filled with men who had no idea.”
Anne Gorman, The Courier Mail (14 March 2015)

Next Tuesday’s Memoir Club presents 'Mudgee-born mother, social worker, advocate, business coach, political campaigner, feminist and farmer’s wife' Anne Gorman in conversation with Julie Bail about Anne's memoir The Country Wife. 

Described as a 'a moving, evocative story of her life and times', The Country Wife is 'also a deeply-felt love story' and a 'testament to [the author's] own bravery, surviving the upheavals of change in a
changing world' (Toowoomba Chronicle).  

From abused child to university graduate with the world at her feet, from love to courageous loss in the Riverina, Anne Gorman's memoir takes us on a journey that encompasses some major events and experiences of the 20th century for many Australians, especially woman: institutional life as a young child, the Second World War and fears of Japanese invasion, violence in the family and the resilience and humour required of a country wife with a young family and a gravely ill husband. 

Do join us next Tuesday for an evening exploring both Anne Gorman's life but also her coming to write about that life as a first-time author, aged 81. Come share in her tales of challenges and heartach faced, but also the triumph of a bright, indomitable spirit.

Not to be missed!,%20anne.jpg
Anne Gorman was born in Mudgee NSW, into a house of grief following the loss of her seventeen year old sister. Anne’s birth would be her mother’s eleventh but not the last.  When she was five, her mother’s nervous breakdown and her father’s death, events which coincided with the beginning of  World War 11, made for an unstable childhood.  Anne grew up in Sydney, and was educated at Kincoppal-Rose Bay, and for five glorious years at Sydney University, gaining degrees in Arts and Social Work.

At  23 Anne found herself living in the Riverina on a sheep and wheat property, married and  pregnant, living a life she could never have imagined. When her husband became gravely ill, an illness lasting over 10 years, Anne found the courage to keep the farm and her family of five children afloat. Later as a widow and single mother, she grew into a woman of substance, taking an active part in the big issues of the day, within a much wider landscape.

Julie Bail was awarded a Fellowship at Varuna, 2003, and a HarperCollins Manuscript Development Award, 2006, to work on her first novel. She has been on panels at the Sydney Writers’ Festival and has had two full length plays and several revue sketches performed to acclaim. Having narrowly avoided publication with her first novel, she is well into her second. 

Julie has worked as an editor and teacher of life writing, a Senior Executive in the public sector, in employment equity, immigration and settlement, with postings to Germany and the Philippines, and as an actor, a diplomat and a cleaner. She served as a Senior Member of the Migration Review Tribunal, and is now on the Board of PRASAD Australia, which raises funds for health care and sustainable development of tribal people in India’s Tansa Valley.

When: last Tuesday of every month.

Time: 6.00 - 9.00 PM (come for a cuppa and help us set up at 5.30 PM - please remember to bring your own cup!)

Where: The Randwick Literary Institute, 60 Clovelly Road, Randwick 2031. Tel: 02-9398 5203 (for directions and venue info). Street parking available. Clovelly bus 339 on the doorstep. For how to get there, see:

What: A communal space to meet other writers and readers and converse about all things to do with reading and writing memoir. We are interested in all kinds of life stories and in different ways of telling them. The genre of life writing and the possibilities of expanding and reworking the genre is exciting to us. Therefore we have a somewhat open and inclusive approach to what makes a memoir, and we hope you do too! Here is a space to connect with others and share ideas, questions and just hang out. Each meeting will start off with a talk, conversation or discussion about a particular topic or book, sometimes with a guest speaker or facilitator, then we move to an informal gathering and catch up.

Donation: $15 at the door for hall hire, refreshments and speakers.

Food: $15 for a plate of delicious vegetarian finger food (different each meeting). Ring or text to book a plate: 0450 907 422.

Future Speakers: Rosie Scott (July), Beth Spencer (August)

Look forward to seeing you there! Please do pass information on to anyone who might be interested in this community gathering.

mem·oir /ˈmemˌwär/
Noun. A historical account or biography written from personal knowledge. An autobiography or a written account of one's memory of certain events or people.

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