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y separately published work icon Gaining a Sense of Self single work   autobiography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2011... 2011 Gaining a Sense of Self
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Many years later when I asked how she felt when the doll was accidentally smashed she replied "I could have killed you". She meant it. Six decades on she still had not forgiven me.

'Karen Laura-Lee Wilson's memoir is a detailed and gut-wrenching account of her first twenty-five years growing up in a sole-parent family with a narcissistic mother. Embedded in her story are universal themes of abandonment, love, hate, determination, optimism and endurance. Importantly, she also highlights the disastrous consequences divorce and abuse can have on children.

'Mostly set in Brisbane, Australia during the 1950s and 1960s, her journey is a search for identity. Karen entices her readers to accompany her on this gritty journey through years of hunger, poverty, self-doubt and deprivation of mother-love. Eventually Karen finds her own path through education, positive and negative sexual relationships and travel.

'This well-written memoir is told with great candour and gentle humour, and is a must-have not just for readers of memoir, but also for those who enjoy adventure, romance and happy outcomes.' (From the publisher's website.)

Notes

  • Author's note: This is a true story. As I continue to have deep feelings for my family and past close friends I do not wish to hurt anyone unnecessarily. So, except for those of my parents, some relatives and a few friends I have not used real names, but the events described in the memoir are real. Every effort has been made to trace original source material.
  • Dedication:
    This memoir is dedicated to my brother without whose love and support I would never have survived, and to the late Miss Ruby Windle and the late Mrs June Elliot who provided me with crucial guidance, encouragement and solace in my teenage years.
  • Epigraph:
    Prayer

    Mother dear, oh pray for me,
    Tossed on life's stormy sea.
    Oh, lead thine aid and
    Steer my barge,
    Safe o'er its water dark.

    Star of hope, thy sweet ray,
    Cheer me on my way
    'Till I reach my home
    And thee, Mother dear,
    Oh Pray for me.

    E'er keep me near to thee
    Lest pleasure tempt thy child to stray
    From virtue's path away.

    Prayer copied to the author's 1957 diary (source unknown)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Glen Waverley, Ashwood - Mulgrave area, Melbourne South East, Melbourne, Victoria,: Sid Harta Publishers , 2011 .
      Extent: xi, 445p.p.
      Description: illus., ports
      ISBN: 9781921642920

Works about this Work

Hell and Back Rachel Robertson , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 331 2011; (p. 62)

— Review of Gaining a Sense of Self Karen Laura-Lee Wilson , 2011 single work autobiography
Hell and Back Rachel Robertson , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 331 2011; (p. 62)

— Review of Gaining a Sense of Self Karen Laura-Lee Wilson , 2011 single work autobiography
Last amended 22 Aug 2013 16:14:08
Settings:
  • Brisbane, Queensland,
  • ca. 1950-1969
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