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Surviving Maggie

Surviving Maggie by John Fingleton
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The powerful true story of a man who would inspire one son to make a film about him, starring Geoffrey Rush, and the other to uncover his past, warts and all, in this unforgettable tale. "My father was no ordinary man and his was no ordinary life ..." Watching Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush portray his father in the film Swimming Upstream inspired John Fingleton to uncover the story no one had told, of his father's mysterious early life - and what made Harold the extraordinary man he became. Nothing could have prepared him for what he discovered. Harold spent his early childhood on the streets foraging for food for himself and his sister and being beaten for his trouble by his alcoholic mother. then, at eleven, Harold was removed to a state orphanage in Brisbane, where the treatment he and others endured haunted him forever. From abused child to rebellious orphan, Harold Fingleton played many roles in his life - larrikin street fighter, gifted sportsman, prisoner, alcoholic, football coach to a bunch of street kids, even a murder suspect - but, most importantly, a man transformed by the love of a strong woman into a father determined his children would have the opportunities he never had. A powerful true story of love, betrayal and redemption, Surviving Maggie will stay with you long after the last page. 'After forty years of bookselling, this book punched holes in me. Like ANGELA'S ASHES, no one who reads this story will ever forget it.' Phil Ryan (veteran bookseller, formerly of Mary Ryans)
HarperCollins Publishers; September 2011
304 pages; ISBN 9780730496373
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Title: Surviving Maggie
Author: John Fingleton