Rebellious Daughters (ed by Maria Katsonis & Lee Kofman, Ventura Press)
Rebellious Daughters features a stellar line-up of Australian female writers sharing touching stories of rebellion, family life, coming of age and motherhood. Edited by Maria Katsonis and Lee Kofman, this is a well-balanced collection of memoirs that charts the ‘complicated map of parent-daughter relationships’: from funny tales of youthful rebellion to traumatic estrangements and lasting wounds, the thrill of independence to unbreakable bonds and family loyalty. Rochelle Siemienowicz carves out a Self in a strict but loving Seventh-day Adventist household, and later fights against ‘the disappearing act’ women perform when they are consumed by motherhood. Rebecca Starford examines the risky business of memoir writing, questions of ownership and the idea of writing as rebellion. Susan Wyndham and Nicola Redhouse struggle to adjust to step-parents, while Krissy Kneen, the rebellious granddaughter, escapes her fairytale-obsessed grandmother to create her own tale of metamorphosis, sexual desire and freedom. One of the most poignant essays is Eliza-Jane Henry-Jones’ account of growing up in an atmosphere of decline, fighting against Alzheimer’s as she watches her grandmother and then her father forget themselves and their family. These intimate stories will appeal to readers of family memoir and essay collections such as Mothermorphosis.
Cosima McGrath is the marketing and communications officer at Collins Booksellers