Why You Are Australian A Letter to My Children A love letter to Australia from a London exileWhen expatriate novelist Nikki Gemmell had her children in London she chose to give them Aussie citizenship over British this Is Why Why you are Austral

  • Title: Why You Are Australian: A Letter to My Children
  • Author: Nikki Gemmell
  • ISBN: 9780732289591
  • Page: 172
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A love letter to Australia, from a London exileWhen expatriate novelist Nikki Gemmell had her children in London, she chose to give them Aussie citizenship over British this Is Why Why you are Australian is an examination of our country thirty years ago and today all the glory of its sun and water and all the darkness of tall poppies and Cronulla How does our land loA love letter to Australia, from a London exileWhen expatriate novelist Nikki Gemmell had her children in London, she chose to give them Aussie citizenship over British this Is Why Why you are Australian is an examination of our country thirty years ago and today all the glory of its sun and water and all the darkness of tall poppies and Cronulla How does our land look from way over there, and from right up close A treatise about what it means to be Australian right now Honest, moving, provocative, uplifting an exile s story, a mother s story, an Australian s story Why you are Australian for anyone who needs reminding Achingly I want you to know what it is to be Aussie kids Where playing barefoot is a signifier of freedom not impoverishment Where a backyard s a given not a luxury Where sunshine and fresh food grow children tall Where you know what a rash shirt is and a nipper, a Paddle Pop and a Boogie Board.

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      Posted by:Nikki Gemmell
      Published :2018-08-02T23:26:10+00:00

    One thought on “Why You Are Australian: A Letter to My Children”

    1. Nikki Gemmell's fiction has been hit and miss for me - Shiver is an all-time favourite, while the rest have been less inspiring. But this memoir is something special. It's about a short period in her life (summer of 2009 to be precise) when she brought her 3 English-born children back to Australia to have a bit of a trial-run at returning permanently; to see whether it was going to be possible in contemporary Australia, to provide the children with the kind of idyllic childhood that she remember [...]

    2. Gemmell is one of my all time favourite writers. She is also one of the few people I truly admire. She writes with such honesty and emotion and as silly as it sounds I feel like she writes for me. This book is beautiful. If my British born and raised husband ever questions why we chose to settle and have our children in Australia, I will simply hand him this book.

    3. Nikki Gemmell is an Australian writer and commentator. For many years, she and her husband and their three children lived the expat life overseas, in the United Kingdom. In this memoir, entitled Why You are Australian: A Letter to My Children (4th Estate Books HarperCollins Books Australia 2017), Gemmell does indeed write a love letter, to both her children and to her home country of Australia. In it, she explains why she chose to give her children Aussie citizenship over British (so they could [...]

    4. I may have really liked this memoir because it is set in the part of Australia that I’m living in. And she is spending a few months getting away from her life in London and re-finding herself in her homeland. So she’s reflecting on the differences between home and London. I’m having a year away from home myself—and I’ve also lived in London so much of what she was commenting on rang true to me. Much had to do with parenting which isn’t my thing, but I get the appeal of family that sh [...]

    5. Absolutely loved this little gem of a book & only wish I'd found it sooner. Nikki Gemmell absolutely captures the iconic Aussie childhood in a way that many who grew up here can relate to & many will want to discover. As an Aussie who lived as an expat for over 10 years, many of those in London, I too was torn between the lure of a more exciting international city closer to the action & the option to return to the land of my youth. For me too, returning was the right choice. Thank yo [...]

    6. Why You Are Australian A Letter to My Children is the quintessential expat book: an Australian woman, novelist by trade and mother of three by choice, chronicles her return to Sydney, Australia from London, UK. She also brushes over the reverse leg. Overall, this is a lovely book that covers much more than Australianness and British rain, but is at times too corny or too bitter. (Such can the life of an expat be. I know.)***Spoilers ahead***I liked very much the first half of this book (the firs [...]

    7. This is a very interesting meditation of the expat's life and how difficult it is to be torn between two countries. From my early teens I wanted to go overseas and visit the UK and Europe. Well at 19 I took off but unlike Gemmell I found a husband and baby instead of a career. I quickly decided that I didn't want to live in the UK and in 1977 the three of us headed back to Australia. I found this book fascinating on two fronts. Firstly what she loves about London and then what she loves about Au [...]

    8. Absolutely loved this book and I often lend it out. Beautifully written and walks right to edge of sentimentalism and decides not to step over.Wonderful descriptive prose

    9. "A writing life of short chapters and snatched thoughts, of three line paragraphs and fragments scribbled on shopping dockets and bills" sums up the way 'Why you are Australian' was written and goes some way to explaining why the book is both inspiring and frustrating. Written during Nikki Gemmel's trip to Australia with her three children (and addressed to them), each chapter is a short reflection comparing the Australia she was seeing with her children with the Australia of her upbringing and [...]

    10. As of right now I am on prac and staying with an incredible woman who taught me when I was in primary school. Yesterday afternoon we were sitting on the porch chatting and she fluttered off to get this book to show me. Read it she insisted. She didn't have to try very hard. I was hooked from page one with nostalgia. The author lives in England with her husband and three children but is Australian and wanted her children to know the life of an Aussie childhood. For three months she returned to he [...]

    11. Not enamoured by Nikki Gemmell's novels, 'Why You Are Australian' being a letter to her own children offered to be a different beast entirely and proved to be a reasonably engaging read.We could liken it to an Ashes test played out to the very last over on the fifth day before a winner was evident. Would the winner be cultural, cosmopolitan London and stiff upper lip Brits or the laconic easy going Aussies around the precints of Lake Macquarie? We in Oz would say no contest, but Gemmell is an ex [...]

    12. As an Aussie expat, i tend to enjoy the company of fellow self-exiled types. I was disappointed to discover that Gemmell's book is more therapy than reflection. There are moments within its pages that I yearned to return to the sunny shores of my homeland; but Gemmell was unable to capture for long these deep currents that shape and form the nature and character of 'home'. Instead, we hear her wax on about barefeet children and motherhood as if these signifers are able to contain the meaning of [...]

    13. I read this book on the plane back to australia after i had been gone for over a year.I don't think i could have picked a better book to read. This book is written with such an honest and real voice and you can really feel the connection Gemmell has with her home land. I found myself smiling at all the small things that make a person an 'aussie'. Our slang and laid back nature, the out doors and the bush; all were described so accurately i found myself wishing the plane would hurry up so i could [...]

    14. My mum sent me this while I was living in Canada. She included a note that said "I didn't read it, but I hope it reminds you that you're Australian."I really enjoyed some parts of this book - the little comments made about NutriGrain cereal, summers spent by the beach and certain Australian slang. Those parts made me miss my country.But the majority of the book. Hmmm I just don't enjoy Gemmell's writing style. It feels like she's trying too hard to be meaningful and artsy. Or somethingI pick it [...]

    15. I really enjoyed this journal styled writing of Nikki Gemmel's. it made me reflect on all the wonderful things that I take for granted a lot of the time living in Australia. I loved the pages from her notebooks listing some of her day to day occurrences while she was out and about coming into contact with other Australian's. Her pages listing some of our Aussie dialect had me giggling to myself. I highly recommend this book, great read. X

    16. I think I have a fondness for these books providing thoughts and insights into choices of authors, particularly in raising families. I did live this - I though it was a little idealistic about Australia, but otherwise, I loved the thoughts about raising kids here. The book brought so much of Australia to life - I could almost hear the birds in the trees! A lovely, lyrical writing style

    17. I love this book, if you want to know what it is like to grow up a child in australia, this book will tell you.I read this, with memories of my childhood flowing through my mind. Thank you to my parents who gave this to me, thank you to ms Gemmell for reminding me, and thank the fates for the fact I was born Australian.

    18. As an expat Canadian living in Australia, I loved Nikki Gemmell's description of all that makes Australia great, especially as I contemplate having and raising children away from home. You can love new places, but I think, children must change everything.

    19. This book is a brilliant account from the author to her children of why they are Australian citizens, even though they were born in England. I love it, and though I don't have a copy yet it's on my list to buy so I can share it with my children, and share with them the joys of being Australian.

    20. It was lovely to read something that i could easily relate to. An Australian who is living in London reflecting all the things you miss mostly about home but also comparing London life to Australian life for bringing up children. It was very interesting and beautifully written.

    21. Though at times repetitive and slightly prone to belabouring the point, Nikki Gemmel writes an engaging and tender ode to Australia. As both a child of an expatriate and a person who does not live in the place where she grew up, I related on many levels to this book. A nice ponderous read.

    22. I didn't get to finish it before returning the borrowed copy, but I get a sense that the book follows formula to the end. I reckon it's enjoyable to read if you are an Australian expat venturing back to Australia. Otherwise only short glimpses are relatable.

    23. What a lovely view of Australia filled with nostalgia for the innocence if growing up in the 70s and 80s Gemmell recalls as she brings her little English children back for a visit and to introduce them to their home!Engaging and a quick read.

    24. Even though I work with Australian's it's no where near the same as being there. This book is a healthy, realistic reminder of why we travel and why our home is so special.

    25. I loved this book, a beautiful nostalgic trip back to an Aussie childhood and things I'd long forgotten. How is it possible to be homesick with yearning for a country I live in?

    26. Very moving book which made me realize how my husband of 38 yrs who was born in UK behaves the way he does! He may be an Australian citizen but he isn't an Australian by birth.

    27. An easy read for anyone feeling nostalgic about the stereotypical Australian childhood. More a collection of notes so not overly challenging but pleasant enough.

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