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Half a Lifetime

In this luminous memoir, Judith Wright takes the reader on an intimate journey into the first half of her life. She tells how her stern forebears became prominent pastoralists in northern New South Wales, and describes with stunning clarity the landscapes she grew up in.

She remembers her first encounters with words and the emergence of her consciousness of self. She movingly describes her mother’s death. And she recounts her resolution to escape from this world she loved in order to be free.

In Brisbane during the war Wright met Jack McKinney, a philosopher who became her lover, and her intellectual companion in her commitment to the environment, the rights of Aboriginal people, and the possibility of leading a just life.

Half a Lifetime includes a number of Wright’s best-loved poems, and many never before published photographs. Sensuous, honest and intelligent, this is an unforgettable autobiography by a great Australian writer.

Judith Wright
About the Author

Born in 1915, Judith Wright was one of Australia’s greatest writers. She lived in Canberra until her death in 2000.

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304pp, illus.
Text publication date:
1 September 1999
AU Price:
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Praise for Judith Wright
andHalf a Lifetime

‘A cohesive, sharp-eyed and poignant narrative that takes the reader to the wellsprings of Wright’s poetry and activism.’

‘A lyric meditation upon the nature of her inner 'I’. Its raison d'etre and its timeless value lie in the intimations of the rare and precious context of her art: her private, emotional life as woman poet. This volume…is a blessing as well as a gift.‘