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Were Gina Rinehart producing a telemovie of her self-published hardcover 2012 autohagiography, Northern Australia and Then Some, it might begin in 1909, when her father is born to pastoralists on the remote Mulga Downs station. Lang Hancock is destined to make “great sacrifices for this country”, exploring the Pilbara “with only snakes for companions”.

A cartoon from The West Australian reprinted in the book indulges a fantasy that Brad Pitt would play her father, with Gina directing the apocryphal Lang – the Mini-series.


A famous resident of Norfolk Island, Colleen McCullough spent extended periods living in Sydney, including in an apartment in Pyrmont. McCullough knew she was good copy and she knew how to play the game to publicise her latest book. When I last met her, she was on to her nineteenth, The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet, a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which she published at the age of 71.

The lift doors opened directly into her Pyrmont living room, and there she stood, one hand leaning against a wooden cabinet as insurance against her failing sight, but also to stop her self-described “rat-shit” body from falling over.




Fifty essays and dispatches on
what it means to be gay today.

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