A Memoir

Book - 2016
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Magda Szubanski's childhood in a suburban migrant family was haunted by the demons of her father's life in wartime Poland. At nineteen, fighting in the Warsaw resistance, he had been recruited to a secret counter-intelligence execution squad. His mission was to assassinate Polish traitors who were betraying Jewish citizens to the Nazis. The legacy of her father's bravery left the young Magda with profound questions about her family story.As she grew up, the assassin's daughter had to navigate her own frailties and fears, including a lifelong struggle with weight gain and an increasing awareness of her own sexuality. With courage and compassion Szubanski's memoir asks the big questions about life, about the shadows we inherit and the gifts we pass on.Magda Szubanski is one of Australia's best known and most loved performers. She appeared in a number of sketch comedy shows before creating the iconic character of Sharon in ABC-TV's Kath and Kim.
Publisher: Melbourne, Victoria :, Text Publishing Company,, 2016.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781925355413
Characteristics: 374 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates :,coloured illustrations ;,24 cm.


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Jul 16, 2017

Talented comedian and writer. Remarkable family history. A good read.

Infolass Feb 19, 2017

Magda is more than meets the eye! She shines here as a writer and her story is one we are so glad she has told. With all her personal fears throughout her life, she actually has laid it all bare here. From her childhood in Croydon, living with her Polish father, a confessed killer during WW2 and it seems oft absent English mother, through to the successes she has had writing and performing comedy, this is an absorbing Australian story.

Dec 19, 2016

Having admired Magda Szubanski's work on television for many years, I was looking forward to reading something more about "behind the scenes". However, her work was almost incidental in this memoir of hers. The focus was much more on her relationship with her father who had been profoundly affected by his involvement in World War II as a Pole in Poland, and on her coming to grips with her sexuality. A moving and serious account interspersed with some hilarious observations.

Sep 22, 2016

Those of us who grew up in Melbourne in the time Magda is talking about will learn much about how it was to grow up with the shadow of World War II, trying to understand what it meant to be 'New Australian'. Magda captures the time, and tells her own story in such a way we empathise every inch of her journey. She is brave in sharing so much about herself, and she does this with insight and with a gift for writing.

32 copies for Yarra Plenty Regional Library? Excuse me, but did I read that right? 32 copies? Are they all hardbacks like the copy I borrowed? This is a good read, but hardly worthy of the purchase of 32 copies when so many books that have stood the test of time are not represented in this enormous library system, not one copy.

Aug 03, 2016

This is Magda Szubanski’s story of second-generation survivor guilt and the proclamation of her homosexuality, alongside a social history of suburban Melbourne life and the comedy scene in Australia during the last decades of the twentieth century and the first decades of the twenty-first. Taken on its own terms, Reckoning is engagingly written, honest and human but somehow I think that those are just as much the qualities of the author, as much as of the work. For my full review see

Dec 02, 2015

Totally fascinating. Very insightful and funny. Much as I would expect really from someone who played Sharon in Kath and Kim so well.

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