the wide-awake writer
Antonella Gambotto-Burke is a critic, journalist and novelist. She is the author of Lunch of Blood (1994), An Instinct for the Kill (1997), The Pure Weight of the Heart (1998), The Eclipse: A Memoir of Suicide (2003), MOUTH (2013) and Mama: Love, Motherhood and Revolution (2015). She also contributes to a raft of international newspapers and magazines, including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, The Australian, The South China Morning Post and The Mail on Sunday.
Her work, both fiction and non-fiction, has been published in numerous anthologies.
Gambotto-Burke was described by Tatler magazine as a novelist of "great sensitivity" and as having "a keen eye for satire, which she uses to great effect." In The Sunday Age, Matthew Condon wrote that reading her fiction is "like being unable to stop staring into the sun when you've been told that it damages your eyes," and Who magazine described her as possessing "a major literary talent."
Her literary nonfiction has also been widely praised. Professor Nicholas Humphrey, author of A History of the Mind, wrote that The Eclipse: A Memoir of Suicide is "an astonishing, deep and beautiful book," Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention called it "a brilliant, moving book," and Michael Rakusin of Tower Books described it a "masterpiece".
Gambotto-Burke is known for longform journalistic nonfiction, and her work was featured in The Best Australian Profiles. Her selection of interviewees is eclectic. She has interviewed cardiothoracic surgeons and film stars, authors and rock luminaries, artists and academics, fashion designers and royalty. Her subjects include Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, Bette Midler, Charlton Heston, Marilyn Manson, Sasha Grey, John Shelby Spong, Paul Ekman, Jackie Collins, Martin Amis, Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, Brent Stirton, and others.
Australian Bookseller and Publisher described her as having "the astonishing ability to reveal the absolute essence of a person," and The Weekend Australian Magazine said that she seems "to mesmerize ... her subjects". Edward de Bono wrote of Gambotto-Burke's work, "The pieces stand in the great tradition of writing that is to be read for its own sake as with the classic essayists." Her recent journalism is notable for its humanitarian emphasis.
In 2015, Mama: Love, Motherhood and Revolution, Gambotto-Burke's first book on her experience of marriage, motherhood and our cultural capacity for attachment, will be published. Dr. John Irvine, founder of the Read Clinic and Australia's highest-profile child psychologist, said Mama is to motherhood what Germaine Greer was to womanhood. "Antonella's book is a seminal piece that draws a line in the sand on what motherhood should be all about," he noted. "It is a statement that has the potential to realign motherhood, and is so intelligently written." KJS Anand, Professor of Pediatrics, Neurobiology and Anesthesiology and the recipient of the 2009 Nils Rosen von Rosenstein Award, simply described Mama as "undeniably the most important book of the twenty-first century."
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