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Life Writing as Conundrum single work   review  
Issue Details: First known date: 2014... 2014 Life Writing as Conundrum
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'JILL Hellyer's autobiography (1924-2012) provides plenty of “talking points” for a reviewer. Inter alia, it covers her crucial role in the fledgling Australian Society of Authors (ASA), her own writing, her dreadful marriage to an overbearing older man, her horrific struggles with one son's mental illness and another's physical handicap, the belated revelation of her daughter's sexual abuse, her years as a mental health activist, and her friendships. But only the most determined reader is likely to appreciate them. The book presents itself as a puzzle, as an obstacle course that perhaps mirrors Jill Hellyer's own life experiences. Consider the front cover, a posed photograph of the young Jill Hellyer, with the title Letters to Huldah over a subsidiary heading categorising the book as biography. Hmm, letters and biography, thinks the reader, who then finds it is not a biography of “Huldah.” On the back of the dustjacket along with any other editorial help, and without spelling it out, the vague blurb hints that the book is autobiography. The 120-word, prefatory “Author's note” (a reductive summary of the life of Huldah Sneddon, 1906-2006) yields the bare fact that Huldah was once Jill Hellyer's English teacher. ' (Author's introduction)

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Last amended 20 Nov 2015 08:19:03 Life Writing as Conundrumsmall AustLit logo Australian Women’s Book Review
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