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A Fortunate Life


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A true classic of Australian literature, Facey's simply penned story offers a unique window onto the history of Australian life through the greater part of the twentieth century - the extraordinary journey of an ordinary man.

About the Author

A.B. Facey was born in 1894 and grew up on the Kalgoorlie goldfields and in the wheatbelt of Western Australia. His father died before he was two and he was deserted by his mother soon afterwards. He was looked after by his grandmother until he was eight years old, when he went out to work. His many jobs included droving, hammering spikes on the railway line from Merredin to Wickepin and boxing in a travelling troupe. He was in the Eleventh Battalion at the Gallipoli landing; after the war, he became a farmer under the Soldier Settlement Scheme but was forced off the land during the Depression. He joined the tramways and was active in the Tramways Union. A.B. Facey, who had no formal education, taught himself to read and write. He made the first notes on his life soon after World War I, and filled notebooks with his accounts of his experiences. Finally, on his children's urging, he submitted the handwritten manuscript to the Press. He died in 1982, nine months after A Fortunate Life had been published to wide acclaim.


"[A] plain, unembellished, utterly sincere and un self-pitying account of the privations of childhood and youth." -- Courier Mail

"[An] extremely powerful description of Gallipoli." -- Australian Book Review

"This is the sort of book that makes me feel comfortable and warm. Its a companion and friend, much, much more than a collection of words The charm of the chapters lies in the sincerity of the author, a man that one finds so easy to admire through his writing alone." -- Queensland Reviewers Collective

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