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About the book
  • Published: 3 December 2018
  • ISBN: 9780143795995
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $30.00

How to Make Gravy




A memoir in a hundred songs – classy storytelling from Australia's most prodigious singer-songwriter.

Paul Kelly is a uniquely gifted storyteller. For thirty years he has written songs of uncommon directness about everything from love and land rights to cricket and cooking. 'Before Too Long', 'To Her Door', 'Leaps And Bounds', 'Don't Start Me Talking', 'Dumb Things', 'From Little Things Big Things Grow', 'How To Make Gravy' – his songs connect generations of listeners across the country.

In a memoir that has been greeted with acclaim by critics and adulation by fans, Kelly takes the lyrics of his songs as starting points to tell the stories of his life – the highs and lows of performing, the art of songwriting, being on the road with the band, tales of his childhood, family, friends and fellow musicians. All illuminate Kelly's wide sources of inspiration, offering an unequalled portrait of the creative mind.

Playful and honest, insightful and intimate, How To Make Gravy is an irresistible reflection on both the big and little things in life.

Kelly's specially recorded versions of the A to Z songs, stripped back to their essentials as solo or duo performances, are available digitally and in a companion CD boxed set that included a 64-pages booklet of photographs.

'A carnival of ideas . . . The flavour of Kelly – his openness and honesty and passion for the detail of life – he suffuses the book . . . The closest we've come to an insight into the thoughts and work methods of this great poet.' Weekly Review

'The pre-eminent writer of his generation. His body of work stands against any novelist, playwright or filmmaker as the definitive narrative of recent decades.' Weekend Australian

‘Perhaps the finest and most unflinching autobiography ever written by an Australian musician.’ Noel Mengel

  • Pub date: 3 December 2018
  • ISBN: 9780143795995
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • RRP: $30.00

About the Author

Paul Kelly

Paul Kelly was born in Adelaide, one of nine children, in 1955. He wrote his first song in 1976 and has been making records since 1978, over thirty to date. He has collaborated with many other songwriters and written music for film and theatre.
His prose has appeared in Meanjin, The Monthly, Rolling Stone and The Age, and in 2010 he published a ‘mongrel memoir’, How to Make Gravy. His most recent album is 2019’s Thirteen Ways to Look at Birds. www.paulkellystore.com.au

Also by Paul Kelly

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Awards & Recognition

  • Australian Book Industry Awards

    Winner • 2011 • Biography of the Year

  • Australian Book Industry Awards

    Shortlisted • 2011 • Book of the Year

  • Indie Award

    Shortlisted • 2011 • Non-Fiction

  • Nielsen BookData Booksellers Choice Awd

    Shortlisted • 2011 • Prize for Writing for Young Adults

  • Prime Minister's Literary Award

    Shortlisted • 2011 • Non-Fiction

  • National Biography Award

    Shortlisted • 2012 • Prize for Writing for Young Adults

  • NSW Premier's Literary Awards

    Shortlisted • 2012 • Douglas Stewart Prize

  • Melbourne Prize for Literature

    Shortlisted • 2013 • Best Writing Award


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