Things Nobody Knows But Me

$29.99

Pre-Order: ships on or before 01 /05 /2019
Format: ISBN :978-1-925760-20-0 Trade PB 272pp Rights: World Release / Publication Date: 01 /05 /2019
Categories: ,

Description

‘Brave, compassionate, searingly honest and funny, this is a memoir in a voice like no other. Amra Pajalić’s love letter to her mother is a book that grabs at your heart and doesn’t let go until the final  page.’  ALICE PUNG

When she is four years old Amra Pajalić realises that her mother is different. Fatima is loving but sometimes hears strange voices that tell her to do bizarre things. She is frequently sent to hospital and Amra and her brother are passed around to family friends and foster homes, and for a time live with their grandparents in Bosnia.

At sixteen Amra ends up in the school counsellor’s office for wagging school. She finally learns the name for the malady that has dogged her mother and affected her own life: bipolar disorder. Amra becomes her mother’s confidante and learns the extraordinary story of her life: when she was fifteen years old Fatima visited family friends only to find herself in an arranged marriage. At sixteen she was a migrant, a mother, and mental patient.

Surprisingly funny, Things Nobody Knows But Me is a tender portrait of family and migration, beautifully told. It captures a wonderful sense of bicultural place and life as it weaves between St Albans in suburban Australia and Bosanska Gradiška in Bosnia. Ultimately it is the heartrending story of a mother and daughter bond fractured and forged by illness and experience. Fatima emerges as a remarkable but wounded woman who learns that her daughter really loves her.

AmraPajalić is a Melbourne-based author of Bosnian background. Her debut novel The Good Daughter (Text Publishing, 2009) won the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Civic Choice Award, and was a finalist in the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature Best Writing Award. Prior to publication it was shortlisted in the 2007 Victorian Premier’s Awards for Best Unpublished Manuscript. She is also the author of a novel for children,  Amir: Friend on Loan (Garratt Publishing, 2014).

Amra is co-editor of the anthology Growing up Muslim in Australia (Allen & Unwin, 2019) that was shortlisted for the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Eve Pownall Award for Information Books. She also wrote the teaching notes published by Allen & Unwin.

Amra has appeared on panels at conferences and literary festivals including at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne Writers Festival, Williamstown Literary Festival, Reading Matters Conference Panel, and the VicTESOL Conference. She has delivered workshops and presented at various library and community organisations, and was a judge and convenor of the Premier’s Awards for an Unpublished Manuscript.

She was funded by Artists in Schools to be an Artist in Residence in 2010, 2011 and 2012 in high schools, and in 2014 received funding from Creative Victoria to be mentored by Alice Pung to work on her memoir.

She works as a high school teacher and is completing a PhD in Creative Writing at La Trobe University. Her website is www.amrapajalic.com.