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A Private Life: Fragments, Memories, Friends

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  43 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
A collection of reminiscences that reveal the private Michael Kirby, opening up as never before in a beautifully written, reflective and generous memoir.
ebook, 216 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Allen & Unwin Australia (first published October 1st 2011)
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KB
Apr 30, 2012 KB rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the end of the day all our judges, even our High Court judges are people, brilliant people at that, but still human like the rest of us. It is easy to forget that life as well as law can shape their decisions. This book was an honest insight into the life of someone I have come to admire. It is people like Michael Kirby that remind me that the pursuit of a legal profession can be a nobel one.
Jennifer K
The latest "in" thing at the Factory is a "get to know" one of the indentured labourers via a series of questions. Reading Michael Kirby's memories and essays delivered me a more than definitive answer to "who would you most like to have dinner with". Australia is so fortunate to have a judge of his quality. Michael Kirby - who can articulate a cogent argument (in a manner in which one who is not a member of the judiciary can readily understand) and do so with grace and humour. This is definitel ...more
Stephanie Byrne
Initially I found this book to be an easy read and appreciated how it was written so effortlessly, making you feel like Kirby was an older relative recalling interesting tales of his past.

As it progressed however there were parts that really moved me.

I was actually shocked to find how recently it was that homosexual relationships were fraught with legal restrictions. I know we still have a long way to go in terms of equal rights, discrimination and acceptance but boy, have we come along way fr
...more
Mel
Apr 06, 2012 Mel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such intimacy, honesty, gentle insight and dignity. I have so much respect for this man, and this book has reinforced that respect. A truly great human being, and a thoroughly engaging memoir.
Sean Kennedy
Oct 18, 2012 Sean Kennedy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kirby's book is only fragments and reflections of his life, but they still give a remarkable insight into this interesting and inspiring man.

It is hard to separate myself entirely from the subject, as I write from a far more privileged existence than Kirby had in regards to coming out and living as a gay man. Sure, there are still many problems now with the fight for equality--and, simple respect--but Kirby grew up in a time where it was still illegal for us to merely exist.

Yet, strangely enough
...more
Vicki
Mar 01, 2015 Vicki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite paintings in the National Portrait Gallery is a picture of Michael Kirby in his judicial robes. It's a beautiful portrait which captures a sense of strength, wisdom and compassion. It's appropriate that this portrait is also used in this book which also highlights these characteristics while providing the reader some understanding of the difficulties he and other gay people face.
Scott Vawser
A profound life. A deeply influential man.
Anthony Bendall
Aug 13, 2013 Anthony Bendall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a long-time admirer -and acquaintance - of Mr Kirby, I'm somewhat ashamed that it took me so long to read this remarkable book. As one who as had the privilege of hearing him speak on many occasions, I found that I could "hear" his phrasing and intonation as I read. As always, he is inspiring, compelling and compassionate.
Lisette
Apr 09, 2012 Lisette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had a copy of the book signed after his speech at the 'Festival of dangerous ideas'.

Quiet, gentle persuasion in the face of deeply personal injustice. This was an interesting reflection on advocacy and personal progress. Kudos on the book, look forward to hearing another talk / reading another one of your books.
Emmalittle100
Sep 11, 2012 Emmalittle100 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Justice Kirby has cemented my respect for him, in the stories he has chosen to share in this selection of personal vignettes. He provides insight into his gentle pursuasive way - and demonstrates why he is such a highly treasured jewel in the Australian landscape of social justice.
Leanne Clegg
Fragments of a life well lived, documented in an intimate and endearing way. Justice Kirby sets a clear moral compass of the way the world should treat its human participants and gives us all something to aspire to.
Maggie
Feb 24, 2013 Maggie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A page flipper that completely shows the wits of the amazing judge. Excellent portray of his emotional struggle for being recognized as gay. Delightful writing.
Ruth
Jan 03, 2013 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very readable book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Very personal account of parts of his private life that gives us an inkling into why his judgements were full of humanity.
Malcolm McPherson
Dec 05, 2014 Malcolm McPherson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, give-away
I 'really liked it' because I am a personal admirer of retired High Court Justice Michael Kirby. He writes clearly, intelligently and wittily and is an inspiration!
Min
Jun 11, 2013 Min rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely inspiring! Time to dish out some justice!
Janelle
Dec 15, 2011 Janelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
I admire and respect this man so much.
Christine
Christine rated it really liked it
Feb 03, 2016
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