The future prime minister and other animals

In days of yore at The School Magazine we used to comment to each other that Noelene Martin had a nose for the parts of someone’s life that would grab young readers’ interest. Her first book, Freda, a biography of Freda Whitlam, shows that her nose stays good when she’s writing for adults. In today’s Spectrum, it’s Bruce Elder’s Pick of the Week, and his review gives a good sense of the book:

This is not a conventional biography. It is, essentially, a life crafted out of a series of interviews and conversations with the subject. It reads like a quirky, chatty, anecdotal account of a life full of interest and incident. Some events, important in an individual life, but unimportant in an overview of a career, keep interjecting themselves into the narrative to such a point that Ms Whitlam’s childhood comes across like young Gerald Durrell in My Family and Other Animals.


But of course my regular readers read about it here first. Oh, and in case you’d like a copy (and you know you would) but are shy about calling the phone number given in the Spectrum, you can email mrsmarty AT aapt DOT net DOT au.

9 responses to “The future prime minister and other animals

  1. Ahem. Not to be, you know, rude but was that an intentionally dangling modifier?

    “Her first book … shows that her nose stays good when she’s writing for adults. In today’s Spectrum, it’s Bruce Elder’s Pick of the Week…”

    Well, I giggled anyway…


  2. @mccardey: I must be being thick today, but I can’t see the dangling modifier in that. Do you mean that the ‘it’s’ has an uncertain antecedent? If so, no, it wasn’t deliberate, but is ther any real ambiguity? Please, you don’t need to apologise for correcting my syntax. It’s just that I can’t see the error here.


  3. I am thick today! Nose … Pick … completely undeliberate. I’ve laughed too.


  4. I forgot to say, I enjoy your blog… (came across it on librarything…)

    Have a nice night. 🙂


  5. My late partner Narelle was sent to PLC Croydon as a boarder after her mother had a stroke (around 1958-9, I think). She was (not surprisingly) a very unhappy and ‘difficult’ child, but she remembered FW for her compassion. After two terms FW called Narelle’s father into her office and said “Take that child home. She needs her family.” So he did. I gather you didn’t argue with FW.


  6. How important is the Principal’s office?


  7. I imagine you’ve got some stories, Dennis?


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