Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Gabrielle (Gay) Walsh

Free Radical

Pages: 280 Ratings: 4.8
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A fascinating account of life in a period of great social and political change. Gabrielle Walsh discusses her personal experiences of pursuing feminism and gay rights amidst the stigma and tradition of a patriarchal society. Traversing the period from the beginning of the 1950s until the present, it is the story of an activist who also honours those who contributed to the great social and political movements aimed at freeing our world. The discussion of sexual liberation and race relations are equally thought-provoking. The anecdotes and details of family life, set against the backdrop of pivotal historical events, provides an insight into the personal inherent in every political situation. This work shares a progressive political tradition with a cheeky storytelling genre found in Anglo-Irish literature. It is exuberant, lively and amusing. Written with warmth and compassion, this work provides a platform for important conversations still necessary for our society today.

Gabrielle (Gay) Walsh has written works as diverse as The Long and Short of It: Truth is Stranger than Fiction, a book of political satire that she also illustrated; L’etranger, a play about the murder of the Cambridge University-educated gay law lecturer, Dr Duncan; a one woman show for the Adelaide Festival Fringe titled Habeas Corpus and The Local State: a history of Queensland local government. She lives in the Torres Strait with her partner Aurora.

Customer Reviews
5 reviews
5 reviews
  • Marian Redmond

    I'm so glad they saw the value of your description of your life and the path you blazed in those times of change. It was once the case that living in Brisbane was not a good launching pad to the world, but you've overcome that barrier and they do say that it's a timely story of the personal in the political world and so that it crosses cultures and countries. It's a piece of luck in that sense. You lived and wrote a great story. It seems appropriate that it is a UK publisher. Maybe you belong, not only to a progressive political tradition, but to the rollicking storytellers of Irish literature. It reminds me of the Anglo Irish writer, Joyce Cary's book, The Horse's Mouth, about a bohemian artist, in that it is exuberant, lively and amusing.

  • Jude Munro

    It’s wonderful. The way you’ve written is so typical of you - erudite and funny - full of great insight and moment.

  • Gordon Curtis

    I remember you well Gay. I thought you were very clever and very attractive. You were also a bit intimidating back then. Your programmes were intelligent and fierce. I listened and took note. Being one of the earliest announcers you helped set the direction and tone of our station. I can go on about the importance of Z as a transformative entity for the people of Brisbane as well as ourselves as individual people.

  • Sandra Gobbo

    Gay, one thing also from someone who was 18 at the time, you have generously omitted how comprehensively you and other feminists wiped the floor with both Tony Abbott and Peter Costello at the AUS annual conferences (77-78). As a young very impressionable lesbian, I was so inspired by the way you all completely demolished their arguments in so many plenaries – I kind of think Tony Abbott made some of his decisions as Prime Minister as revenge for those devasting embarrassments – he was no match for the intellectual capacity of yourself and Laurie Bebbington. Looking forward to reading the final edition.

  • Barbara Preston

    This is an impressive book. Structurally, it combines effortlessly with your personal. social and political experiences, while thematically always pointing to a potentially better future. Your travails were so difficult, your setbacks so real, that I wondered what kept you going- apart of course from your Irish upbringing, sense of humour, and stubbornness.

    The book is important not only because it chronicles your life and the crucial events you were involved with, but the many other dedicated lives that fill the pages. It deserves to be read by the older, current and future generations, and hopefully, it will be.

    I found your writing to be flowing, accessible, erudite but never ‘academic’. On the contrary, it was a fascinating mixture of straightforward language holding real emotions and great precision of expression, when required.

    I enjoyed it immensely and looked forward to turning each page, even though sometimes felt exhausted by your various exploits!

    Three things come through to me most forcefully from the book. The first, that you have had a most challenging, difficult, even traumatic life; the second, that you have contributed to many essential, life-enhancing, overdue changes to Australian society and thirdly, that you have been surrounded and supported by much affection and love on your journey. I have no doubt this support was reciprocated.

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