The big news on the History, Memoir, Biography (HMB) scene this month was the recent announcement of the winners for the PM’s Literary Awards Non-Fiction. PM literary awards

Two Australian women writers shared the top prize – Karen Lamb for her biography on Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather and Sheila Fitzpatrick’s history book, On Stalin’s Team: the Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics.

Two of our members have already reviewed Lamb’s book –

Whispering Gums
Suzanne Marks

And, although, no-one has tackled Fitzpatrick’s book yet, Janine Rizzetti has reviewed her earlier memoir, Spy in the Archives. A little something to whet your appetite perhaps?

The other big AWW news, for those of us in Sydney at least, was the appointment of the new Artistic Director for the Sydney Writer’s Festival. Michaela McGuire will replace Jemma Birrell, who directed the last four festivals so successfully.

McGuire is a Melbourne based writer with three non-fiction books to her name – Last Bets: A True Story of Gambling, Morality and the Law, Apply Within: Stories of Career Sabotage and the Penguin Special A Story of Grief. She also co-edited, with Marieke Hardy The Women of Letters books. Our AWW reviews for these books are linked below.

michaela mcguire

Michaela McGuire – image Wheeler Centre

Yours Truly: Women Of Letters


Sincerely: Women Of Letters


Women Of Letters

S Shanahan
Jet Silver 

Next year’s Sydney Writer’s Festival dates are 22nd – 28th May 2017.

Our very few October HMB reviews take us from Hidden Hamilton (a suburb of Newcastle) with a very personal history by Ruth Cotton – reviewed by Debbie here – all the way to the pain and joy of surrogacy with Shannon Garner’s, Labour of Love reviewed by Simone.

Janine provides a thoughtful review on a stolen generation memoir by Marie Munkara called Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea while Jennifer explores the grief and confusion of a mother trying to come to terms with her son’s untimely death in Crying in Silence by Sandra Russet-Silk.

Finally, Kim adds to the growing love and regard for Helen Garner’s, Everywhere I Look here.

Hopefully, the lack of reviews this month, merely reflects that, like me, you are halfway through a few fabulous HMB books right now and just trying to find enough time to finish them!

About Bronwyn: I have been a book blogger at Brona’s Books since 2009 and a bookseller (specialising in children’s literature) in Sydney since 2008. Prior to this I was as an Early Childhood teacher for 18 years in rural NSW.

dragonflyI taught myself to read when I was four by memorising my Dr Seuss books. I haven’t stopped reading since.

You can find me on Twitter @bronasbooks and Litsy @Brona.