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The South Coast Writers Festival 2023

In a talk titled One Act, this was the way two memoirists from Coeldale were billed: ‘Anne Howell and Rachael Mogan McIntosh have lived through interesting times. Anne woke up in hospital from a coma to find she had no memory of her adult life. Rachel moved her husband and eccentric young family to regional France to live for a year. Simon Luckhurst (author and producer of the Ear Movies podcast) interviews Anne and Rachel to find out more about their experiences, the lessons they learned, and why they decided to write the story of one specific life event.’

All That I Forgot was released on November 1, 2022. The first launch took place at Collins Books, Thirroul on November 4, 2022. I was introduced by my friend Annie McNamara, former head of the South Coast Writers Centre and Book Club guru.

The first Sydney launch of All That I Forgot was held at Gleebooks, Glebe on November 10, 2022. I spoke with author Professor Cathy Lumby. Writer and artist, George Alexander read out selected passages from the book. I was introduced by Samantha Miles co-founder of Bad Apple Press, my publisher. Thanks to artist Mai Nguyen-Long for the photographs.

All That I Forgot launched at Ditta Bartels’ home

I grew up in Mosman and it features in my memoir, All That I Forgot, many readers have remarked, in an unexpected light. My friend Ditta Bartels hosted a beautiful launch at her home in Mosman where she regularly holds events for the community including concerts, book launches and yoga classes. The audience was very receptive and asked many questions about memory and what it means to us as humans.


The I Am Not Making This Up event was the inaugural writers’ festival held in the Illawarra, NSW< Australia, for non-fiction writers. I joined the wonderful Phillipa McGuinness and Caroline Baum on stage for a session about the mind and body. The event was put on by The South Coast Writers Festival, Caroline Baum and Collins Books Thirroul. It was a great talk. I loved reading Phillipa’s latest book, Skin Deep, which is jam-packed with interesting ideas and facts about human skin (on topics as diverse as race and the history of dermatology), and I highly recommend it. I found that my amnesia memoir, All That I Forgot, and her beautifully written book about skin have some unexpected things in common! Making This Up thanks to the talented photographers @ironbark_photography and

I Am Not Making This Up non-fiction writing festival.

Sessions I attended included Heather Rose talking to Caroline Baum about her memoir Nothing Bad Ever Happens Here and the fascinating session with ex-homicide detective Gary Jubelin talking to crime writer Andy Muir about Jubelin’s book Badness.

All That I Forgot

Published by Bad Apple Press

What if you woke up in hospital one day thinking you were a girl aged nine, when instead you were a grown woman with a child?

What if you could not remember giving birth to that child, did not know who your supposed husband was, or even remember how to read and write?

And what if the people helping you remember were not, in fact, telling you the whole story?

In 1991, after neurosurgery, Anne Howell caught meningitis and fell into a coma. She woke with amnesia, losing her autobiographical memories, including the birth and, indeed, the existence, of her young daughter. She was told she had a husband, a happy home life, and a loving relationship with her mother, but none of these things turned out to be true. As Anne gradually recovered, she began to suspect the things some of her family and friends were telling her about herself were convenient fabrications, especially as returning memories revealed a darker version of her past than theirs.

Against this backdrop of unease and intrigue, Anne is forced not only to confront her new physical limitations but to try and work out who she really is.