07.03. Marieke Hardy’s You’ll be sorry when I’m Dead

Australian Women Writers Challenge

I used to not like Marieke Hardy.  I grumbled away when she was on Triple J.  I found her obstructive.  Always having an “other” point of view. She seemed determined to provoke, challenge and obstruct.

These days, these are exactly the quality in Marieke that I have come to love.

Australia is very short on women with a strong point of view.

And agree or disagree with her points of view on things, I adore the fact that she has one.

This book is very playful.  Set up by the delightful preface by her father, we immediately understand that this book is not to be taken to seriously.  And for me this book was a joy.  It was like revisiting your twenties.  The curiosity to know about stuff, the freedom to make mistakes without consequence, the excess and self-indulgence.  The search for intensity of experience.

I sat, absolutely transfixed, listening to my boyfriend apparently thoroughly enjoying himself with another woman.  It felt f**ked up and intense”

Yes, she goes quite far.  And there is quite alot of sex in the book.  Not graphic sex scenes, she spares us the gory details.  No, she relates sexual adventures.  Adventures with swingers.  What buyer’s remorse feels like when the prostitute has gone, or a hipster’s outing to a strip joint.

She loves to provoke, but is also happy to mock her own behaviour, her own hypocrisy and silliness.  The book feels quite open in that way.

There are some serious, poignant moments in the book.  Dealing with a friend with cancer.  Or an ex-boyfriend.  Her ex Matty is given the right to respond in the book and I found his commentary so bitter-sweet:

I may not be the person you remember. Or the person you think I am.  That’s a real shame to me.  That you don’t know me at all

Killer comment.  Something we can all relate to I imagine.

Matt also accuses her of writing herself as a caricature.  And yes it does feel like that through most of the book.  She is bright, bouncy, curious, self-reflective, but immune to any consequences.  When I read memoirs, I like to get a sense of how people develop through their experience.  How they became what they are.  There is no sense of that in this book.  Marieke feels perpetually trapped in the freedom of her twenties, like her friend Gen:

Gen was not a grown up.

Gen was determinedly frozen in her rock’n’roll twenties.

But it is a fun ride, an easy read and I welcome this voice, that is so bold and carefee.


10 thoughts on “07.03. Marieke Hardy’s You’ll be sorry when I’m Dead

  1. I thought her recent column in the Sunday magazine quite amusing and I’d like to read this
    Thank you for sharing your review for the AWW challenge

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

    • She’s certainly a funny lady!
      Loving the AWW challenge- it is really getting me reading more women’s books and loads of great reviews from other contributers!

  2. I haven’t read this because like you used to, I find her a bit…annoying. She’s always the one that loves the books I don’t, or hates the books that I love, on the First Tuesday Book Club. But I think you are right on one point – we are lacking in women with strong opinions who are absolutely not afraid to voice them and I respect that about her.

  3. I mean to read this book one day. I’m curious…do you think it was good idea for Hardy to write a memoir, or would her self-reflection have been better served through fiction?

    • Wow, that’s a really good question. I had totally not thought about that!
      I need to give that some thought. I might sleep on it and get back to you…
      Will definitely ask that at my bookclub on the weekend (it was my pick for March)

    • Hi Kat,
      as promised, I threw this question up at bookclub.
      The girls felt that the content would have seemed very self-indulgent as fiction, and we agreed that for that reason, it had more impact in the memoir form.

  4. Pingback: 18.03. Bookclubs, real and virtual « Like the World.

  5. Pingback: 2012 AWW Challenge Wrap-up: History, Biography, Memoir « Australian Women Writers Challenge

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