AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 9107688616003868943.jpg
Image courtesy of publisher's website.
y separately published work icon Second Half First single work   autobiography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2015... 2015 Second Half First
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Richly textured, combining memoir with literary criticism, in Second Half First Drusilla Modjeska looks back on the experiences of the past thirty years which have shaped her writing, her reading and the way she has lived. From a childhood in England, growing up with a father she admired deeply but felt she never really knew, to her time as a young newly-wed, living with her husband in Papua New Guinea; arriving as a single woman in Sydney in the 1970s and building close friendships with writers such as Helen Garner, with whom she lived in the bookish ‘house on the corner', and the lovers who would – sometimes briefly – derail her, this new book by Drusilla Modjeska is an intensely personal and moving account of a truly examined life.

'In asking the candid questions that many women face: about love, marriage, the death of parents, growing older, the bonds of friendship and family, Drusilla Modjeska reassesses parts of her life, her work, her reading, the importance to her of writers such as Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir, among many others, to give us a memoir that is at once intellectually provocative and deeply personal, and the book that readers of Poppy, The Orchard and Stravinsky's Lunch have been waiting for.' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Epigraph: Of course I may be remembering it all wrong after, after - how many years? –Elizabeth Bishop, 'Santarem'

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • North Sydney, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Random House Australia , 2015 .
      image of person or book cover 9107688616003868943.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 376p.
      Note/s:
      • Published: 01/10/2015
      ISBN: 9780857989796

Works about this Work

'Betwix and Between' : Rereading Poppy as Autofiction Cheryl O'Byrne , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: Philament , September no. 25 2019;
'Autofiction has been a buzzword within anglophone literary circles in recent years. Several books published in 2018 stimulated the mainstream conversation, including Rachel Cusk’s Kudos, Sheila Heti’s Motherhood, Olivia Laing’s Crudo, and the final instalment of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle series. Scholarship on the mode also flourished in 2018: Hywel Dix edited a groundbreaking essay collection called Autofiction in English, and Marjorie Worthington published the first monograph on American autofiction. The concept of autofiction has been part of the French literary lexicon since the late 1970s, introduced by Serge Doubrovsky and developed by theorists [END PAGE 7] such as Vincent Colonna, Philippe Gasparini, Arnaud Genon, Isabelle Grell, and Philippe Vilain; its appearance in English-language conversations, however, is a recent phenomenon.' (Introduction)
Three Generations of Sydney Women Finalists for the 2016 Kibble Literary Award Susan Wyndam , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: Brisbane Times , 7 June 2016;
'Three generations of Sydney women are represented on the shortlist for the $30,000 Kibble Literary Award for women's life writing. ...'
Review : Second Half First Lauren Cook , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Good Reading , February 2016;

— Review of Second Half First Drusilla Modjeska , 2015 single work autobiography
Review : Second Half First Brenda Walker , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , February no. 119 2016; (p. 55)

— Review of Second Half First Drusilla Modjeska , 2015 single work autobiography
What to Leave Out Sophia Barnes , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , February 2016;

— Review of Second Half First Drusilla Modjeska , 2015 single work autobiography ; Eat First, Talk Later : A Memoir of Food, Family and Home Beth Yahp , 2015 single work biography ; The Women's Pages Debra Adelaide , 2015 single work novel
Looking between the Veils at Life After 40 Felicity Plunkett , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 10-11 October 2015; (p. 20-21)

— Review of Second Half First Drusilla Modjeska , 2015 single work autobiography
Recovery from Adversity Lends New Perspective Susan Wyndham , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 25 October 2015; (p. 12)

— Review of Second Half First Drusilla Modjeska , 2015 single work autobiography
Beacon of Hope Sally Blakeney , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 31 October - 1 November 2015; (p. 26-27) The Age , 31 October 2015; (p. 26)

— Review of Second Half First Drusilla Modjeska , 2015 single work autobiography
Drusilla Modjeska : Second Half First Shelley McInnis , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: The Newtown Review of Books , December 2015;

— Review of Second Half First Drusilla Modjeska , 2015 single work autobiography
Living the Question : Drusilla Modjeska's Crafted Life Bernadette Brennan , 2015 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 376 2015; (p. 7-8)

— Review of Second Half First Drusilla Modjeska , 2015 single work autobiography
'Twenty-five years ago, Drusilla Modjeska's Poppy reimagined boldly the possibilities for Australian memoir. Modjeska recounts in her new memoir, Second Half First, how in her inaugural appearance at a writers' festival she was on a panel discussing autobiography with two established British writers, Victoria Glendinning and Andrew Motion. Poppy was written but not yet released. Feeling at a disadvantage following on from such accomplished performers, she rose with conviction to announce that 'here in Australia we were thinking about what biography might mean if we took as our subjects those who are not usually considered "worthy" of "A Life"'. She wondered how the inclusion of something of the biographer's own story might contribute to a deeper understanding of how 'a life became a narrative'. Glendinning patronisingly found the idea 'extraordinary'. 'We're not thinking about that in England,' she said.' (Author's introduction)
Three Generations of Sydney Women Finalists for the 2016 Kibble Literary Award Susan Wyndam , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: Brisbane Times , 7 June 2016;
'Three generations of Sydney women are represented on the shortlist for the $30,000 Kibble Literary Award for women's life writing. ...'
'Betwix and Between' : Rereading Poppy as Autofiction Cheryl O'Byrne , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: Philament , September no. 25 2019;
'Autofiction has been a buzzword within anglophone literary circles in recent years. Several books published in 2018 stimulated the mainstream conversation, including Rachel Cusk’s Kudos, Sheila Heti’s Motherhood, Olivia Laing’s Crudo, and the final instalment of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle series. Scholarship on the mode also flourished in 2018: Hywel Dix edited a groundbreaking essay collection called Autofiction in English, and Marjorie Worthington published the first monograph on American autofiction. The concept of autofiction has been part of the French literary lexicon since the late 1970s, introduced by Serge Doubrovsky and developed by theorists [END PAGE 7] such as Vincent Colonna, Philippe Gasparini, Arnaud Genon, Isabelle Grell, and Philippe Vilain; its appearance in English-language conversations, however, is a recent phenomenon.' (Introduction)
Last amended 24 Oct 2016 10:57:59
X