Dredging It Up. "The Secrets Behind My Smile" by June Dally-Watkins, "Kerryn and Jackie: The Shared Life of Kerryn Phelps and Jackie Stricker" by Susan Mitchell and "Rose: The Unauthorised Biography of Rose Hancock Porteous" by Robert Wainwright. [review]
Australian Book Review
According to Andrew O'Hagan, writing in a recent "London Review of Books": 'If you want to be somebody nowadays, you'd better start by getting in touch with your inner nobody, because nobody likes a somebody who can't prove they've been nobody all along.' The journey from Nobody-hood to Somebody-hood is central to June Dally-Watkins's recent autobiography. Indeed, O'Hagan's pithy insight could almost have been the Sydney socialite and queen of etiquette's mantra. As a GP, television doctor, "Women's Weekly" columnist and head of the Australian Medical Association, Kerryn Phelps has attracted considerable attention for her lesbian relationship with Jackie Stricker. When the couple were portrayed on "Australian Story" alongside Kerryn’s children, Jaime and Carl, they seemed to be a gay version of the Brady Bunch. Mitchell, however, exposes this image of happy functionality as a media myth. In contrast to Kerryn and Jackie, Rose Hancock Porteous is never portrayed as representative. Indeed, her 'celebrity' status depends precisely on the fact that she is not so. If Dally-Watkins and Kerryn and Jackie are supposed to represent us all, Hancock Porteous serves as a potent media symbol of all that we are not meant to be or become.
Australian, Book Reviews, Publishing
Spark, Ceridwen 2003. Dredging It Up. Review of "The Secrets Behind My Smile" by June Dally-Watkins, "Kerryn and Jackie: The Shared Life of Kerryn Phelps and Jackie Stricker" by Susan Mitchell and "Rose: The Unauthorised Biography of Rose Hancock Porteous" by Robert Wainwright. 'Australian Book Review', No 250, April, 25-26.