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The Mind of a Thief

An award-winning memoir by an accomplished writer at the height of her powers.

Available. Dispatched 2-3 business days

For 40, 000 years the Central NSW area of Wellington was Aboriginal – Wiradjuri – land. Following the arrival of white men, it became a penal settlement, mission station, gold-mining town and farming centre with a history of white comfort and black marginalisation. In the late 20th century, it was also the subject of the first post-Mabo Native Title claim, bringing new hope – and new controversy – to the area and its people.

Wiradjuri land is also where author Patti Miller was born and, mid-life, it begins to exert a compelling emotional pull, demanding her return. Post-children, having lived a dream life in Paris, it is hard for her to understand, or ignore, and so she is drawn into the story at the heart of Australian identity – who are we in relation to our beloved but stolen country?

Wellington and the Wiradjuri people are the main characters – and in revealing their complex narratives, Patti uncovers her own. Are her connections to this place through her convict forefathers, or through another, secret history? She sets out on a journey of exploration and takes us with her. Black and white politics, the processes of colonisation, family mythologies, generational conflict and the power of place are evoked as Patti weaves a story that is very personal and, at the same time, a universal story of country and belonging.

The Mind of a Thief is about identity, history, place and belonging and, perhaps most of all, about how we create ourselves through our stories.

Patti Miller, author of Ransacking Paris, and The Mind of a Thief

Patti Miller

Patti Miller was raised on Wiradjuri land in central western NSW and now lives in Sydney. She is the author of Writing Your Life (Allen & Unwin, 1994, 2001); The Last One Who Remembers (Allen & Unwin, 1997); Child (Allen & Unwin, 1998); Whatever the Gods Do (Random House, 2003); The Memoir Book (Allen & Unwin, 2007); the award-winning The Mind of a Thief (UQP, 2012); Ransacking Paris (UQP, 2015); Writing True Stories (Routledge, 2017); and The Joy of High Places (NewSouth, 2019). She has also taught memoir and creative non-fiction for many years around Australia and in Fiji, Bali, Paris and London.