What the memoir is about
Maybe I’ll be Cleverer Tomorrow is a personal memoir of the exploration of the long and sometimes fraught relationship between an enigmatic man and his eldest daughter and what she discovers about both him and herself as he negotiates the last decade of his life, having chosen to move far from family and friends after the death of his wife. While his daughter tries to see their relationship and his legacy through different lenses, she is confronted with the emotional experiences and decisions associated with a loved one’s gradual decline and inevitable death. Maybe I’ll be Cleverer Tomorrow also provides an interesting insight into childhood and adolescence during the 1940s and 1950s as well as a coming of age and young adulthood during the 1960s and 1970s.
Why and how I came to write this book.
The original purpose of this book was to be a witness to aspects of my father’s life before the circle of his life closed, while I was still attached to him by a fine thread. It started as a reluctant response to a staff request at the nursing home to reduce his life to a few interesting paragraphs for an upcoming Family Day. However, it very soon developed into a need to record my perspective on the man who, for over five decades, I thought of predominantly as a tough bastard, critical, and brusque; a man who could impale me with a few carefully chosen words; a man with a steely edge like the metal with which he worked for most of his life. But once I started to write, I discovered many things about him that took me by surprise and I am now able to see both him and our relationship through much clearer lenses.
Ideal readerships would be:
- those adults who have had a less than satisfactory relationship with a parent and who grew up with a whole range of beliefs (possibly distorted) about themselves and their relationships have taken on unconsciously as part of the fabric of their families
- people in the Baby Boomer age group and who have already faced, or are about to face, the decline of a parent and the decisions that have to be made on their behalf
- those interested in aspects of the social life of Australian working and middle-class families during 1940s-1970s.
What is different about my memoir?
I believe its strong points are:
- an unflinching honesty in revealing both the positive and negative aspects of my relationship with my father
- a balance between humor and compassion
- an interesting structure: the framing of my story with visits to my father, first Up North and then Down South which allows the story to move forward in time, and memories to be seamlessly explored during my interactions with him
- a vivid reimagining of growing up in a family in the mid-20th century, and evocative descriptions of place and atmosphere
- very effective dialogue
- its universal themes.
What gives me the urge to write?
I have been interested in writing and researching stories since I was a child, spurred on by an almost insatiable curiosity about people and the world around me and what my family often say is my never-ending questioning.
Writing is what makes me jump out of my bed every morning, keeps me going even through down times and adds a purpose to my life.
Getting to know the author
Pamela Bradley was born in Sydney Australia and continues to live there in a whacky 19th century terrace in the inner-city suburb of Balmain. She was educated at Sydney University where she majored in History, and where her childhood interest in ancient cultures and mysteries developed.
For over three decades, she taught senior Ancient History motivated by a desire to make it both enjoyable and accessible to all levels of students, as well as illustrating what we can learn from the past. Her passion for History, and the ancient world in particular, motivated her to travel extensively, during which she began dabbling in writing and keeping travel journals which she used as sources for literary travel articles and later for website blogs.
After leaving classroom teaching, she worked for a year as a travel consultant, before taking up a position as a writer at the Open Training Education network, a world-class online learning center. She also purchased a café in the Sydney suburb of Mosman and in keeping with her interest in writing, the café became a gathering place for writers and other creative people: artists, actors, and journalists. When she sold the café, she worked part-time as an English mentor for Asian students at a prestigious boy’s high school and attended many overseas creative writing workshops.
She has three sons who have been inveterate travelers and who have lived and worked at various times in USA, Europe, Middle East, S.E. Asia, and the Bahamas, providing her with the chance of further travel between deadlines for her various books.
To date, she has had 15 books published, covering topics ranging from the history, societies, and personalities of ancient civilizations; to ancient cultural treasures, mysteries of the cosmos, natural, and human world, as well as ancient messages and present warnings concerning our time in history. Two of these fifteen books are memoirs. Her first: Nefertiti Street, published in 2008, was set in Australia and Egypt and covered the physical, emotional, and spiritual journeys she made to Egypt over a seven-year period.
Her most recent memoir, Maybe I’ll be Cleverer Tomorrow, is a story of a father-daughter relationship that incorporates universal issues such as the experiences we all go through as we confront aging, the gradual decline, and inevitable death of our parents and what they reveal about the people concerned, as well as the concept of redemption.