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Reckoning

A Memoir

Reckoning by Magda Szubanski
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US$ 16.95
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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 read, nor is it a self-pitying one, but it’s a warm, intelligent, brave and occasionally eye-opening one. I found it utterly captivating and came away from it feeling as if Magda had somehow exonerated the ghosts of her family’s past—or at least come to terms with them.’ Reading Matters

‘This was an interesting read that I would highly recommend to both those who have heard of Magda and for those who haven’t. I am definitely going to be checking out more of her work. 4/5’ Debra’s Book Cafe 

‘Hard hitting and superbly told…If there’s one memoir you should read this year regardless of whether or not you know the author, it’s this one.’ Worm Hole

‘This memoir uncovers long-held secrets with disarming candour. Not a celebrity exposé as much as a family history, Reckoning is moving and compassionate. That Szubanski can act is a given fact; that she can also write is revelatory.’ Best Books of 2016, Sydney Morning Herald 

‘Magda Szubanski’s memoir, Reckoning, appealed to the genre-loving reader in me. It felt as if I was watching hundreds of movies; wartime espionage, the migrant’s journey, the coming-of-age school saga, the uni student’s journey at the height of 1970s feminism, and more. It was epic, but so uniquely Australian and despite our different upbringings, it felt personal. As if it was written specifically for that younger me who took forever to feel comfortable in her own skin, so she could take on the world.’ Melina Marchetta, Best Books of 2016, Guardian  

‘Magda Szubanski lays bare her remarkable family history in the beautifully written, powerful and at time harrowing Reckoning…One of the finest memoirs of the year, through all of the dark places, Reckoning never loses sight of her remarkable wit.’ SBS

‘Honest, poignant, utterly captivating, Reckoning announces the arrival of a fearless writer and natural storyteller. It will touch the lives of its readers.’ Starts at 60

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The Text Publishing Company; September 2015
400 pages; ISBN 9781922253224
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Reckoning
Author: Magda Szubanski
 
  • News
Magda Szubanski's memoir reveals a woman of substance - The Australian
Fri, 02 Oct 2015 07:01:07 -0700
The AustralianMagda Szubanski's memoir reveals a woman of substanceThe AustralianEven though Reckoning is at every point a ...
MAGDA SZUBANSKI WINS GOLD, A FIRST FOR TIM WINTON AND WORLD'S BEST BOOKSHOP GETS LOCAL NOD ... - PRWire (press release)
Thu, 19 May 2016 05:43:57 -0700
MAGDA SZUBANSKI WINS GOLD, A FIRST FOR TIM WINTON AND WORLD'S BEST BOOKSHOP GETS LOCAL NOD ...PRWire (press release)In an ...
Magda Szubanski on her new book, coming out and her father the assassin - Gay News Network
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 06:12:31 -0700
Gay News NetworkMagda Szubanski on her new book, coming out and her father the assassinGay News NetworkBut I have to say as ...

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