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y separately published work icon Velocity single work   autobiography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2005... 2005 Velocity
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'VELOCITY tells the moving, painful but often hilarious story of Mandy Sayer's childhood and adolescence, a life lived on the edges - of society, of poverty, of certainty, of love.

'Filled with beautifully realised descriptions of life seen through a child's eyes - a child who gradually comes to realise her adored parents are all too tragically flawed and broken. Mandy is immersed in a world of smoky jazz bars, steamy beer gardens and lino-floored dosshouses, while vainly trying to make sense of the shambolic lifestyle of her alcoholic parents.

'Conceived after her jazz musician father swallowed a block of hash at a party, a young Mandy soon comes to realise that nothing in her world stays the same for long. Her father is prone to perplexing vanishing acts: absent for months at a time, he arrives on the doorstep to greet his delighted daughter with great affection, but no explanations. Meanwhile, her mother pursues fruitless relationships with other men while her father reacts with seeming indifference. Mandy and her mother frequently move house so her mother can take on housekeeping jobs, leaving Mandy struggling to make lasting friendships and longing for stability. She feels particularly vulnerable when her mother becomes involved with Hakkin, a deeply aggressive man whose violent and erratic outbursts are not reserved only for Mandy's mother.

'But there are many moments in life which bring Mandy joy and offer refuge: times when she feels assured of the love and approval of her parents: when she immerses herself in poetry, acting and music, and surrounds herself with those who share her passions.

'Velocity packs the emotional impact of 'Angela's Ashes' with the surreal humour and razor-sharp observations of 'Running with scissors'. Sayer brings into focus those moments when the child's world and the adult world intersect, when illusions are shattered and understanding begins. Unflinchingly honest, startlingly brave and written with a clear-eyed, lyrical grace, 'Velocity' is an ultimately uplifting story of struggle and faith against frightening odds. ' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Dedication: For Louis.
  • Epigraph: ... he who has stood the surprise of birth can stand anything. William Faulkner, Mosquitoes.
  • Although published in reverse chronological order, Velocity is the prequel to Dreamtime Alice.
  • Featured by the BIG Book Club, an initiative supported by The Advertiser in partnership with Arts SA, The Australia Council for the Arts, Channel 7, FIVEAA and the state's public libraries to promote a love of reading, discussion and literature, July 2005.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Milsons Point, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Vintage Australia , 2005 .
      image of person or book cover 2872629656291621304.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 303p.
      ISBN: 1740513851

Works about this Work

What if the Great Danes Sue? Mandy Sayer , 2007 single work prose
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , February vol. 2 no. 1 2007; (p. 25)
Sayer describes the process of disguising individuals' identities during the editing phase of her memoir Velocity. Many names and minor details were changed to avoid defamation suits.
Poet of the Political Takes Age Book of the Year Prize Jason Steger , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 26 August 2006; (p. 2)
Mummy, I Hardly Knew You Steve Dow , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 27 August 2006; (p. 31)

— Review of Velocity Mandy Sayer , 2005 single work autobiography
Nonfiction Peter Pierce , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: Island , Winter no. 101 2005; (p. 77-78)

— Review of Velocity Mandy Sayer , 2005 single work autobiography
How a Writer Beat the Odds Sara Dowse , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: Eureka Street , September-October vol. 15 no. 7 2005; (p. 42)

— Review of Velocity Mandy Sayer , 2005 single work autobiography
Childhood Under the Neon Lights of Kings Crosss Miranda Tetlow , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 28 May 2005; (p. 13)

— Review of Velocity Mandy Sayer , 2005 single work autobiography
A Rush to the Brink Graeme Blundell , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 4-5 June 2005; (p. 9)

— Review of Velocity Mandy Sayer , 2005 single work autobiography
Tapping the Vein Sally Blakeney , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 7 June vol. 123 no. 6473 2005; (p. 76-77)

— Review of Velocity Mandy Sayer , 2005 single work autobiography
Second Time Around Sarah Kanowski , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June-July no. 272 2005; (p. 23-24)

— Review of Velocity Mandy Sayer , 2005 single work autobiography
Review of the Week : The Girl Who Grew Up in Beer Gardens Kerryn Goldsworthy , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 18-19 June 2005; (p. 20)

— Review of Velocity Mandy Sayer , 2005 single work autobiography
Raking the Ashes Helen Elliott , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 4-5 June 2005; (p. 8-9)
Beginning with Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, Helen Elliott takes a wide view of recent autobiographical writing, ending with Mandy Sayer's Velocity.
Having the Last Word Sunanda Creagh , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 11-12 June 2005; (p. 22)
Confronting Tale Holds on to Hope Bridget Sheridan , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 2 July 2005; (p. 26)
Written from Memory Mandy Sayer , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 23 July 2005; (p. 11)
Poet of the Political Takes Age Book of the Year Prize Jason Steger , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 26 August 2006; (p. 2)
Last amended 22 Jan 2015 16:52:17
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