In His Own Sweet Time : Carmen’s Coming Out

IN 1994, Wanda Koolmatrie's autobiography, My Own Sweet Time, was published by Magabala books and rapidly gained national recognition. In 1995, the book won the Nita May Dobbie Award for a first novel by a woman writer, the judges praising it as a 'distinctive new voice in the growing genre of Aboriginal women's writing' and 'the best comic novel of the year' (qtd in Stevenson and Hubble). And in 1996, final-year high school students in New South Wales studied the book in their English curriculum, and an extract was included in Autographs, an anthology of Australian autobiographical writing edited by Gillian Whitlock. According to the author notes, Koolmatrie was born in 1949 in the far north of South Australia, removed from her Pitjantjara mother and raised by foster parents in Adelaide. My Own Sweet Time follows Wanda's life as she drifts to the eastern states after leaving high school, works in a range of jobs from factory worker to lyricist for a band in the United States, and observes those around her in the counter-culture of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The full text of this essay is available to ALS subscribers

Please sign in to access this article and the rest of our archive.

Published 1 October 2004 in Volume 21 No. 4. Subjects: Aboriginality, Autobiographical writing, Cultural & national identity, Imposture, Literary hoaxes.

Cite as: Nolan, Maggie. ‘In His Own Sweet Time : Carmen’s Coming Out.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 21, no. 4, 2004, doi: 10.20314/als.e93592c7ad.