Magda Szubanksi(aka Sharon, Kim’s second best friend in Kath and Kim), is probably one of Australia’s most beloved and admired people, not to mention a really funny bitch. A part of my life since I was a young teenager, for me, she is an awesomely funny and inspiring woman.
To get a sense of how funny, you should watch this little gem right now.
Am I right? I LOVE her!! The scary thing is I’ve known women who are exactly like the character she portrays in these skits.
Anyhoo, my sister, Phillipa, gave me her memoir for Christmas. Entitled Reckoning: A Memoir, this is one of the best autobiographies I’ve ever read, and trust me, I’ve read a LOT of biographies!
It is a beautiful, heart wrenching book. It’s so honest. It’s so raw. It’s so human.
Starting off as a migrant to Australia from the UK when she was a little girl, her story features a powerful Polish father who escaped his homeland after the second world war, mainly because he was an assassin in the Polish Underground during it.
How she tries to come to terms with what he has done, as well as how it impacts him for the rest of his life emotionally, is incredibly powerful. Of course, sitting in the safety of suburban Melbourne, how could you possibly understand the choices he had to make back then? His history torments her. The story of her father is a powerful thread throughout the entire book.
It’s also a story of extreme loneliness as a child. She had a depressed Scottish mother before depression was recognized, along with two siblings who were much older than her, leading completely separate lives.
Her story is also a magnificent exploration into growing up in the Australia I remember, which means it’s packed full of memories for me too – including the smell of Australia. Can I just tell you that Australia, in the summertime in particular, has a smell all its own!
Her memoir is a journey into Magda’s complicated mind, which was prevalent from a very young age. As a heady person myself, I really felt this strongly. When you meet people who aren’t the sort to spend too much time in their own heads, you think lucky bastard! However, when you read a memoir by someone who is heady, you say thank god it’s not just me! I’m not nuts.
Magda’s story is also about self-discovery and the painful story of her personal struggle with her own sexuality. Incredible. Honest. Powerful. Beautiful.
I had no idea she went through so much internal hell before finally deciding it was the right time to come out.
Today Magda is a champion of LGBT rights in Australia and I hope her message reaches into the bigger world too. She had a horrendous journey of shame and I hope that by sharing her journey, others won’t have to go through nearly 50 years of not accepting themselves for who they are.
I watched her recently in an interview before Mardi Gras in Sydney. Watch this magnificent woman speak with heart-breaking passion –
Thanks for buying it for me Phillipa. When I was getting to the end, I slowed down reading it because I just didn’t want it to end. That doesn’t happen very often. Magic.
Anyone else read it?
Yours, without the bollocks
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