Phillida Bunkle reviews Fifty Years a Feminist


Phillida Bunkle reviews Sue Kedgley‘s memoir Fifty Years a Feminist for Newsroom. 

‘Sue Kedgley has earned her uncontested place as one of New Zealand feminism’s tallest and most resilient poppies and its most internationally acclaimed proponent. Her new autobiography Fifty Years a Feminist also starts an historical reckoning of 50 years of Second Wave feminism.

Hers is a record of unflinching commitment to the cause of women and an astonishingly successful career of national and international achievement. Her straightforward, accurate, clear, pacey prose may have little warmth and less humour but brings alive the best period of creative freedom of our generation; she perfectly captures the energy and openness of boomers at their best, when their generation enthusiastically joined in a comprehensive rejection of the judgmental smallness of post-war New Zealand.

Angst is not Kedgley’s style. She recounts a life without emotional mess; her ‘pause’ and ‘mute' buttons are always well within reach. Hers is a story of cool self-management, an acute, appraising eye, and a degree of self-assurance at that time unusual in a woman.’

Read the full review here