As children, Jessie Cole and her brother Jake ran wild, free to roam their rainforest home as they pleased. They had each other, parents who adored them, and two mysterious, beautiful, clever half-sisters, Billie and Zoe, who came to visit every holidays. But when Jessie was on the cusp of adolescence, tragedy struck, and her happy, loving family fell apart. This heartbreaking memoir asks what happens to those who are left behind when someone takes their own life. It’s about the importance of home, family and forgiveness—and finding peace in a place of pain. By the critically acclaimed author of Darkness on the Edge of Town and Deeper Water. Jessie Cole grew up in an isolated valley in northern New South Wales and lived a bush childhood of creek swimming and barefoot free-range adventuring. Her first novel, Darkness on the Edge of Town, was shortlisted for the 2013 ALS Gold Medal and longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award. Her second novel, Deeper Water, was released in 2014 to much critical acclaim. ‘Graceful, revealing, pitch perfect. Cole is an author who pays sharp attention to the world around her.’ Australian on Deeper Water ‘A wounded, lovely, luminous book about grief, trauma and the strange healing potential of words.’ Tim Winton ‘Staying is a well-written, extremely moving memoir that steers resolutely clear of stereotypes and self-pity...For all the darkness, there is light too. Cole is a gifted writer with a sensual turn of phrase, and her exploration of the reverberating effects of suicide is both illuminating and absorbing. It will appeal to readers who loved her previous novels.’ Books+Publishing ‘This touching memoir from Australian author Jessie Cole, whose childhood was irrevocably changed when her sister committed suicide, offers a rare personal take on unthinkable tragedy.’ Elle 'When Australia’s cultural narratives insist an artist must leave home to succeed, Cole shows one forged by staying put...It’s surprising that, in the midst of such sorrow, what resounds is a sensation of fecundity. But perhaps it’s not, from a writer of such talent and grace.' Saturday Paper ‘Staying is a heartbreaking testament to the despair, helplessness and guilt of those left behind.’ Australian Financial Review ‘Staying is rich and complex – and often surprisingly funny given its dark subject matter. Above all, this memoir is a meditation on what it means to be traumatised by loss, and ultimately to be healed by life.’ Sydney Morning Herald ‘This is a book buoyant with a love for family and the natural world. Its pages are filled with light: the vividness of the living being who wants to live...Its message is that life has a tenacious power to draw us out of states of bereavement that, if surrendered to, have the capacity to destroy us entirely.’ Australian ‘Heartbreaking...a truly beautiful book.’ New Zealand Women’s Weekly ‘Staying isn’t just a tale of paradise lost – it’s about the birth of an artist in the midst of trauma, crafted with the eye and prose of a novelist. It’s also a hymn to a landscape, and to the immense difficulty in deciding simply to stay.’ Adelaide Advertiser ‘A delicate, difficult portrait of a family suffering delicate, difficult circumstances.’ Adelaide Review ‘I have read many memoirs this year, but none as scrupulously honest as this one...I am pleased Cole was talented enough, and brave enough, to share her words, providing insight into a subject that will doubtless touch many readers.’ Otago Daily Times ‘An honest, raw and well-crafted memoir about a family torn apart.’ AU Review
CHRIS PALMER is a professor, speaker, author, and environmental/ wildlife film producer, who has swum with dolphins and whales, come face-to-face with sharks and Kodiak bears, camped with wolf packs, and waded hip-deep through Everglade swamps.
They were three beautiful, promising sisters, daughters of Jewish immigrants - Mary, Fannie and Regina, young women during the pre-war depression. In a tragic twist of fate, all three were to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Fannie died first, a young mother of three, then in the next decade, Mary, both lonely, painful deaths; while Regina struggled against her recurrent cancer until she was 64. Told by Janet, Regina's daughter, STAYING ALIVE is the story of the sisters - their battle with what seemed an invincible foe and the toll it took on their personalities, their sisterhood, their marriages and their children, particularly their daughters who, too, were likely to be victims. At the centre is the intense relationship between Regina and Janet bound by love and a genetic curse - and ultimately, Janet's momentous and far-reaching decision to be free of it.Candid and deeply moving, STAYING ALIVE is a truly inspiring story of survival, of hope and the possibility of overcoming destiny.
Biography & Autobiography by Giovanna Maria Acciavatti
Born into a close-knit and loving Italian family, Giovanna Maria Acciavatti spent her early childhood years overcoming the illness that struck her as an infant. When World War II devastated Italy, her family lost everything except their unbreakable bond. Like so many others, she immigrated to the United States as a young woman, and, despite many setbacks, persevered with indomitable spirit to become a successful businesswoman. Acciavatti recounts her story in language both lyrical and down-to-earth, and spiced with a wry sense of humor.
In the tradition of Blackout and Permanent Midnight, a darkly funny and revealing debut memoir of one woman's twenty-year battle with sex, drugs, and alcohol addiction, and what happens when she finally emerges on the other side. Growing up in Beverly Hills, Amy Dresner had it all: a top-notch private school education, the most expensive summer camps, and even a weekly clothing allowance. But at 24, she started dabbling in meth in San Francisco and unleashed a fiendish addiction monster. Soon, if you could snort it, smoke it, or have sex with, she did. Smart and charming, with Daddy's money to fall back on, she sort of managed to keep it all together. But on Christmas Eve 2011 all of that changed when, high on Oxycontin, she stupidly "brandished" a bread knife on her husband and was promptly arrested for "felony domestic violence with a deadly weapon." Within months, she found herself in the psych ward--and then penniless, divorced, and looking at 240 hours of court-ordered community service. For two years, assigned to a Hollywood Boulevard "chain gang," she swept up syringes (and worse) as she bounced from rehabs to halfway houses, all while struggling with sobriety, sex addiction, and starting over in her forties. In the tradition of Orange Is the New Black and Jerry Stahl's Permanent Midnight, Amy Dresner's My Fair Junkie is an insightful, darkly funny, and shamelessly honest memoir of one woman's battle with all forms of addiction, hitting rock bottom, and forging a path to a life worth living.
Ruth was four years old when her father was arrested for high treason and her world was turned upside-down. She grew up in constant fear of Special Branch policemen knocking on the door to arrest her mother or father, prominent South African communists. Ruth learned how to keep her mouth shut, to look out for microphones in the walls and to beware of friends who could betray her trust. At fourteen, Ruth left South Africa, clutching her teddy bear in one hand and her drawings in the other. A plan to England carried her into exile, a new world where she struggled to reconstruct a life fractured by fear. With an artist’s eye for detail and colour, Ruth recalls her life with unflinching honesty: the Treason Trial; her struggle to conform; Friern Barnet Asylum for the ‘hopeless insane’; LSD, protests, and free love in London, art school and motherhood; communes and camping - all steps in a journey that finally brought her home to South Africa on the brink of change. Heart- wrenchingly sad one minute, bursting with life and vigour the next, seamed throughout by strength and courage, girl on the edge allows us to look deep into one woman’s life and travel with her to the brink and back again.
Jack Shields and his family caught a Greyhound bus and took Route 66 all the way to California in 1944-and they didn't look back. They arrived at a government-run farm labor camp where their loved ones were staying. At the camp, for as little as five dollars a month, you could rent a clean place to live that had electricity and running water. There were even community bathrooms. Once there, Shields and his older brother went right to work, first landing jobs at an alfalfa field and then moving on to whatever field work they could find. Since they did not have transportation, it was not always easy, but they consistently found a way to put money into their pockets. Shields started the eighth grade in 1944, and by then attitudes toward Okie children had changed, because with World War II, there were plenty of jobs and few workers. Step back in time and get a snapshot of the social history and culture of rural California in the 1940s as Shields looks back at Working the Fields at Thirteen.
Every little girl dreams of being a Princess, she just wanted her Mommy and for the boys to stop making her do "stuff" to "satisfy" them. Finding Anna is a gripping first-hand account of a child who survives the horror of sexual abuse and abandonment by those tasked to care for her, in a society that turns a blind eye to sexual abuse. A love-child, unwittingly passed on from one caretaker to the next, eventually ends up being abandoned and left in the care of her philandering father’s family. She discovers the painful reality that life can be cruel. Trish, a child struggles to understand why she was abandoned by her own mother and tries to deal with the trauma of being sexually abused by various family members. Can Trish, now an adult heal from the pain of a childhood, tormented by the rape of her mind, body and soul? "Finding Anna is a story that exposes the stark, ugly truths about being abused and abandoned. Child sexual abuse is a social issue that chooses no race, religion, culture and gender, and those who are lucky to survive it carry the welts and wounds deep into their souls for a lifetime. My country in South East Asia has one of the highest child sexual abuse cases. Unfortunately, the government is doing little to raise awareness and create child protection programs to safeguard children from predators.My goal is to reach as many readers as possible and inspire survivors to come out in the open and advocate against child sexual abuse." --Trish Kaye LLeone