Reckoning: a Memoir
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Winner, Book of the Year and Biography of the Year, Australian Book Industry Awards, 2016
Heartbreaking, joyous, traumatic, intimate and revelatory, Reckoning is the book where Magda Szubanski, one of Australia's most beloved performers, tells her story.
In this extraordinary memoir, Magda describes her journey of self-discovery from a suburban childhood, haunted by the demons of her father's espionage activities in wartime Poland and by her secret awareness of her sexuality, to the complex dramas of adulthood and her need to find out the truth about herself and her family. With courage and compassion she addresses her own frailties and fears, and asks the big questions about life, about the shadows we inherit and the gifts we pass on.
Honest, poignant, utterly captivating, Reckoning announces the arrival of a fearless writer and natural storyteller. It will touch the lives of its readers.
Magda Szubanski is one of Australia's best known and most loved performers. She began her career in university revues, then appeared in a number of sketch comedy shows before creating the iconic character of Sharon Strzelecki in ABC-TV's Kath and Kim. She has also acted in films (Babe, Babe: Pig in the City, Happy Feet, The Golden Compass) and stage shows. Reckoning is her first book.
'A brave and tender book about everything that matters most in life.' Cate Blanchett
'This is a remarkable memoir, that weaves the tragedy of twentieth century history into a personal narrative of coming to terms with family and self, and manages to honour both stories. The writing is assured and controlled, the storytelling expert and thoughtful, the language eloquent and moving. The writing, the story, the voice—all of it is beautiful.' Christos Tsiolkas
'A memoir that will dazzle every kind of reader...Reckoning is a riveting, overwhelmingly poignant autobiography by a woman of genius. It is a book about how someone might live with the idea of killing the thing they love. It is a story of love and death and redemption and a daughter's love for her father. It is an extraordinary hymn to the tragic heroism at the heart of ordinary life and the soaring moral scrutiny of womankind. Every library should have it, every school should teach it.' Weekend Australian
'Unlike most autobiographies by famous people, Reckoning has substance beyond the writer's fame...Szubanski's fine memoir, written with great style, adds another layer to our history.' Crikey
'This is documentary writing of the highest order and Szubanski has given life to an incredible war story...This tale of war and suburbia, sexuality and comedy, is likely to be the most popular Australian book of the year.' Age/Sydney Morning Herald
'This is an inspiring memoir of a woman who faced her demons, sought treatment for depression and overcame disappointments.' Good Reading
'A page-turner...[Szubanski] is articulate and likeable as she tries to reconcile herself with the many difficult aspects of her past.' New Zealand Herald
'Reckoning is a beautiful and moving story of a serious, thoughtful and complex person.' Paul Barclay, ABC Radio National Books and Arts, Best Books 2015
'Magda Szubanski's brave, compassionate—and hilarious—Reckoning may be some sort of masterpiece of the form.' Australian, Best Books 2015
'A deeply personal read—sometimes uncomfortable so—but Magda is an honest, forthright guide, and her love for her parents (and her siblings, especially older sister Barbara) shine through. This is not a sentimental...