Book Review | Rebellious Daughters | Edited by Maria Katsonis & Lee Kofman

In this anthology, Maria Katsonis and Lee Kofman (rebellious daughters themselves) effectively offer us intimate essays by prominent female Australian writers divulging their personal experiences with rebellion.

Often we think of authors as people who haven’t really done the same things as us “normal people” or lived lives like we do – we almost put them on a pedestal, thinking that they’re these perfect beings who’ve had wonderful lives, never stopping for a minute to think that they’re humans, just like us!

Well, this wonderful anthology puts to bed that belief and gives us some food for thought with seventeen memoir-type reminiscences written by various authors who, with wisdom and the benefit of hindsight, offer us personal insight into their rebellious attitudes towards their mothers, fathers and cultures on a variety of themes such as cultural boundaries, divorce, education, fitting in, jealousy, sexuality, individuality and self-discovery, amongst others.

Whilst one story in particular resonated with me the most, I enjoyed all of these nostalgia-induced recollections of womanly defiance because there are anecdotes from every story that made me ponder my own teenage transgressions.

Open, honest, oft times apologetic, sometimes heartbreaking and frequently humorous, these are the stories that helped shape the writers we know today but are also something to remember when the conflicts and paradoxes of motherhood (and fatherhood) smack us in the face!

With stories as diverse as their voices, readers will undoubtedly be inspired (or shocked) because there is a piece of us rebellious daughters in every one of them.

I wish to thank Ventura Press for providing me with a hard copy for review.

About the Editors

Maria Katsonis enjoyed a traditional Greek childhood, living on top of a milk bar and sharing a bedroom with her yiayia.

She was a good Greek girl throughout high school until university when she discovered her rebellious side and abandoned nine-tenths of an economics degree for a career in the theatre. She managed theatre companies such as Anthill and Arena Theatre Company and then became an independent arts management consultant and theatre producer, touring shows to Asia, Europe, and South America.

After a decade in the arts, Maria decided it was time for a career change and became a bureaucrat, joining the Victorian Public Service where she is a senior executive. She is also a public policy lecturer at the Melbourne School of Government.

Her debut memoir, The Good Greek Girl, was published in 2014. 

Lee Kofman is a Russian-born Israeli-Australian author of five books, writing teacher and mentor based in Melbourne. She has published three fiction books in Hebrew, but since 2002 has been writing exclusively in English. Lee has also published numerous short stories, short creative non-fiction and poetry in Australia, Scotland, UK, Israel, USA and Canada.

Five of her poems were selected for a performance by professional actors at Lord Ivy Gallery on 25th August 2009. Her writing has won various awards, including the Australian Council grant and the Varuna Eric Dark Flagship Fellowship.

Lee is involved in the Australian literary community in many other ways too and also regularly speaks in public about her writing all around Australia.

Her most recent memoir, The Dangerous Bride, was published in 2014.

About the Book

Good daughters hold their tongues, obey their elders and let their families determine their destiny. Rebellious daughters are just the opposite.

In Rebellious Daughters, some of Australia’s most talented female writers share intimate stories of defiance and independence as they find their place in the world.

Powerful and poignant, these true tales explore everything from getting into trouble in seedy nightclubs to lifelong family conflicts and marrying too young. Every story is a unique retelling that celebrates the rebellious daughter within us all.

Not every woman is a mother, grandmother, aunty or sister – but all women are daughters.

ISBN: 9781925183528
Pub date: 01/08/2016
Pages: 325
RRP: AU$32.99


  1. There's something for everyone in this book isn't there? I could most definitely relate to a couple of these pieces!

    1. Absolutely Deborah. I really enjoyed this insight into their lives!


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