Peter Goldsworthy, award-winning author of the much-loved Maestro, explores his influences in this quirky, brilliant, funny childhood memoir.
Few Australian writers have delved as deeply as Peter Goldsworthy into the mysterious state of being that is childhood.
In this memoir he applies his fascination with that state to his own boyhood, from his bizarre first memories to the embarrassments of adolescence. For all his working life Goldsworthy has been both doctor and writer – Australia's Chekhov – and here he reveals a mind charmed equally by science and literature, by the rational and the imagined.
The country towns he grew up in gave free rein to the young Peter's intense curiosity, and in the fifties and sixties he ran amok in hilarious fashion. A boy with a mind wide open to the universe but closed to self-knowledge, he came of age with a naive self-confidence that was ripe for the bursting.
Comically self-deprecating, unrestrained in its honesty, His Stupid Boyhood is a passport to the lost country of youth, and a beautiful homage to childhood in general.
'Australia's most wide-ranging writer shows us where it all comes from: out of that single, concentrated, burningly self-conscious point of being an unusually alert infant.' Clive James
'Goldsworthy writes with a graceful irony of the terror, boredom, longing, shame and leation of boyhood. We can only hope that this is the first volume of his story.' Susanna Moore
'A hilarious account of coming-of-age adventures, it goes some way to providing clues as to why his life led him down a path of medicine and writing.' Sun-Herald
'Goldsworthy's self-deprecating candour adds a light touch to his existential searching.' Saturday Age
'An intelligent, humorous and at times emotional insight into the boyhood forces that shaped the man.' Men's Style
'[Goldsworthy] tells his story with wit and mordent self-deprecation.' Newcastle Herald