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Mandy Sayer Mandy Sayer i(A33378 works by) (a.k.a. Mandy Jane Sayer)
Born: Established: 1963 Marrickville, Marrickville - Camperdown area, Sydney Southern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
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Sayer spent much of her childhood growing up in Kings Cross where her third novel, The Cross is set. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters in creative writing from Indiana University, USA, where she was awarded the 1989 Myrtle Armstrong Fiction Award, the 1989 Keisler Poetry Award and the 1989 N.S.A.L. Literature Merit Award for short fiction. Sayer taught at Indiana for a year.

Sayer also completed a PhD in Australian Literature at The University of Sydney. She studied tap dance and performed in Australia and New York City, and has taught in numerous dance schools and studios. As well as the works listed in AustLit, Sayer has written a play, 'Blind Faith' (1991).

Sayer's proposal for her novel Trocadero earned her the University of New South Wales 2002-2004 Literary Fellowship. The novel is inspired by her parents' love story and is set in a Sydney jazz venue that opened in the 1940s and closed in the early 1970s.

In 1997 Sayer was named one of the ten Best Young Australian Novelists by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2021 winner Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship for her proposal on the McDonagh sisters, Australia’s first female filmmakers
2008 Australia Council Literature Board Grants Grants for Established Writers $60,000

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Australian Gypsies : Their Secret History Sydney : NewSouth Publishing , 2017 12171488 2017 selected work biography

'Today, roughly 100,000 Gypsies call Australia home, yet until now their experiences have been hidden from our history, and from our present. 

'Here, award-winning memoirist and novelist Mandy Sayer weaves together a wide-ranging and exuberant history of Gypsies in Australia. She begins with the roots of Romani culture, and traces the first Gypsy people to arrive in Australia, including James Squire, the colony's first brewer. She meets Gypsy families who live all over Australia, who share the stories of their ancestors and their own lives. 

'With her own nomadic early life and experiences as a street performer, Sayer brings unique insight into the lives of the people she meets, and a strong sense of their extraordinary history. She also demolishes some longstanding but baseless myths along the way. Her original and compelling book reveals a rich part of our history that few of us even know is there. ' (Introduction)

2018 longlisted 'The Nib': CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature
y separately published work icon The Poet's Wife Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2014 6957482 2014 single work autobiography

'Even though we'd grown up in vastly different cultures and countries, we'd both known poverty, domestic violence and the expectation that neither one of us would ever amount to anything. That was probably what united us more than anything: our shared defiance of that prediction.

'She tap-danced on street corners for people's small change. He was an out-of-work university teacher, poet and Vietnam vet. She was white and from Australia. He was black and from the Deep South. They met on Mardi Gras, New Orleans in 1985. She was twenty-two. He was nearly forty.

'They fell in love. They married. What happened next will thrill, move, perplex and enrage you. It will break your heart.

'The Poet's Wife tells the story of the ten years that Mandy Sayer and Yusef Komunyakaa spent together, first as lovers, then as husband and wife. During that time he became a famous poet, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, the highest honour for poetry in the United States, and a university professor.

'At the same time, Mandy became a writer, winning the Vogel Prize for young Australian writers for her first novel, Mood Indigo. She is now an acclaimed author and journalist and has written two award-winning memoirs, Velocity and Dreamtime Alice. The Poet's Wife traces her life from the end of Dreamtime Alice, and again confirms Sayer's place as one of our most lyrical and most courageous writers - memoirist like no other.' (Publisher's blurb)

2016 shortlisted Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Non-Fiction
y separately published work icon Love in the Years of Lunacy Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2011 Z1775602 2011 single work novel historical fiction 'Sydney, 1942. Pearl is eighteen, beautiful and impetuous. She plays saxophone in an all-girl jazz band at the Trocadero and occasionally sits in on underground gigs with her twin brother Martin, who also plays the sax. On one such evening black GI and jazz legend James Washington blows into her life, and nothing is ever the same again, especially not Pearl.

'A love story begins to unfold against the blacked-out nights and rumour-filled days of a city in the grip of war. But public events are closing in on Pearl's private world. When James is shipped out to fight in New Guinea, she hatches a breathtaking plan to reunite with him. And then all hell breaks loose.

'Moving, tender and audaciously original, Love in the Years of Lunacy is a love story with a haunting jazz soundtrack and a war story like no other.' (From the publisher's website.)
2012 winner APA Book Design Awards Best Designed Commercial Fiction Cover designed by Emily O'Neill
Last amended 4 Mar 2021 09:10:34
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