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Why You Are Australian : A Letter To My Children - Nikki Gemmell

Why You Are Australian : A Letter To My Children

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Published: 1st November 2010
Format: ePUB

As a young woman Nikki Gemmell wanted to travel and see the world; adventure lay in running away from where she had grown up, Australia.

But at 40, after 12 wonderful years in London with her husband Andy and their three children, a malaise has set in. She feels trapped by what she calls the land of no shadows, by being a good wife and mother, by routine. She feels she is starting to lose her sense of identity. And as she grows older the idea of returning 'home' has begun to haunt her. She longs to reconnect with her past, to show her children where their parents came from.

But can you really go home again? On an experimental trip back to Sydney, Nikki Gemmell explores the idea of exile and homecoming, of what makes Australia attractive - but also a place people feel compelled to leave to reach their potential. She reflects on her own youth, and looks back at how that shaped her. And as she watches her children change from urban Londoners to free-spirited locals, she realises that she and Andy were right in making them Australian citizens when they were born.

For her, Australia is an antidote to the restrictions she has begun to feel; here she can return to a simpler, sunnier life. Why you are Australian is part memoir, part observation. With characteristic candour Nikki Gemmell looks at what it means to be Australian - in the past and right now.

About the Author

Nikki Gemmell is the author of The Bride Stripped Bare and of the non-fiction books, Shiver and Cleave and Pleasure. Her books explore ideas about sex, women, friendship, motherhood, children, relationships and family. Nikki lives in London with her husband, Andy and their three children.


Great little book


Having lived overseas for 40 years, I really clicked with this book, and the writer,who is Australian but has married and now lives in England. I understood her wanting to share the experience with her children about life in Australia, just like the carefree life she grew up with Down Under. Even though I am now living back in Australia, it did bring back the homesickness that I had felt for Australia for all those years overseas.

Brisbane, Australia


It makes you appreciate home!


This book is fantastic! It's a book that makes you appreciate where you live with a bit of reminiscing thrown in.



Why You Are Australian : A Letter To My Children

4.5 2


Nikki Gemmell

Nikki Gemmell has written four novels, Shiver, Cleave, Lovesong, The Bride Stripped Bare and The Book Of Rapture, and one non-fiction book, Pleasure: An Almanac for the Heart. Her work has been internationally critically acclaimed and translated into many languages.

In France she's been described as a female Jack Kerouac, in Australia as one of the most original and engaging authors of her generation and in the US as one of the few truly original voices to emerge in a long time.

The French literary review "Lire" has included her in a list of what it calls the fifty most important writers in the world - the ones it believes will have a significant influence on the literature of the 21st century. The criteria for selection included a very individual voice and unmistakeable style, as well as an original choice of subject. Nikki Gemmell was selected along with such novelists as Rick Moody, Zadie Smith, Jonathan Safran Froer, Rohinton Mistry, Tim Winton, Colum McCann, Michel Faber and Hari Kunzru among others.

Born in Wollongong, Australia, she now lives in London.

Visit Nikki Gemmell's Booktopia Author Page

ISBN: 9780732289591
ISBN-10: 0732289599
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 248
Published: 1st November 2009
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.9 x 14.0  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.39