Alumni authors

Alumni authors

August 5, 2020

Welcome to the MQ Matters series showcasing the books and articles written by Macquarie alumni to add to your reading stacks.

From fiction, biographies, non-fiction, children’s literature or articles, Macquarie alumni are researching, writing and publishing thought-provoking, insightful and entertaining books to enjoy and share.

If you have a book or article to share with your Macquarie University alumni friends and peers, please email us

The Inner Self 

Dr Hugh Mackay AO (MA Philosophy 1991, DLitt 1999)

The Inner Self is a book about the ways we hide from the truth about ourselves and the psychological freedom we enjoy when we finally face that most searching question of all: ‘Who am I, really?’

Hugh Mackay explores our ‘top 20′ hiding places – from addiction to materialism, nostalgia to victimhood. He explains how it is our fear of love’s demands that drive us into hiding.

He argues that love is our highest ideal, the richest source of life’s meaning and purpose, and the key to our emotional security, personal serenity and confidence.

Yet Mackay exposes the great paradox of human nature, that while love brings out our best, we don’t always want our best brought forward.

Powerfully written and drawing on a lifetime of research, The Inner Self is a work of extraordinary insight by one of Australia’s most respected psychologists.

For more information

The Question of Love

Dr Hugh Mackay AO (MA Philosophy 1991, DLitt 1999)

Richard and Freya are, on the surface, a perfect couple. He has a thriving architectural practice; she plays the violin like an angel. They live in a beautiful home. They seem respectful and caring of one another.

They should be happier than they are.

In The Question of Love, Hugh Mackay has constructed a novel of stunning originality – both a sympathetic examination of a marriage and a nuanced exposition of the complexities and contradictions of human love.

Starkly observed, beautifully written and intricately plotted, The Question of Love explores the myriad ways we resist the terrible beauty of true intimacy.

For more information


Mistaken by the Mystery

Erica Winkler (Master of Arts 2008)

What if having everything you’ve ever wanted costs everything that you have? After being rescued from a shipwreck from a mysterious voice, 15-year-old Annabelle Mueller is magically transported from place to place, faced with insurmountable struggles and forced to learn to trust what she cannot see and enjoy the uncertainty found in the land of in-between.

For more information

How to be Australian

Ashley Kalagian Blunt (MRes 2017)

After spending her twenties working abroad and travelling solo, Canadian Ashley convinces her career-oriented boyfriend Steve to relocate to sunny, carefree, no-worries Australia for a year. An anxious dreamer, Ashley longs to bathe in the national characteristics of her chosen new home and feel the way Australians do.

Newly married, the couple move to Sydney. Steve struggles to find work and Ashley fears he will come to regret both the move and the marriage, especially after she loses her wedding rings on Bondi Beach. But when Steve lands a great job, he shockingly announces he wants to stay in Australia, making Ashley realise how out of place she feels. To make things work with Steve and try to achieve her vision of happiness, Ashley resolves to discover an Australia that’s meaningful for her, to travel the country widely, learn its history, and make Australian friends, all while conquering her growing anxiety. On this quest, she attends a waffle match, falls in love with ibises, discovers the ‘visibly male’ kangaroo atop Parliament House, travels to The Vagina, and much more. Ashley comes to love her new home, despite its political challenges and identity issues. And then Steve decides he wants to go back to Canada, after all! Can learning how to be Australian teach Ashley about herself and save her marriage?

HOW TO BE AUSTRALIAN is a remarkable memoir, at once familiar and faraway, that will appeal to all Australian reader who themselves sometimes grapple with what it means to be Australian.

For more information…. 

COVID Conversations

Dr Gail Brown (BA 1978, MA 1994)

This unique book provides opportunities to read, talk, listen and learn with older children about COVID and how they can try to keep themselves safe and well.

  • Easy-to-read episodes, conversations between a grandmother & her granddaughter
  • Children can read and learn themselves, with parents, teachers or any adult
  • Role-playing reading as Nanna and Hannah sets the scene for children to ask questions in a safe way
  • Stories answering typical children’s questions, as well as some facts

A book for parents, teachers or anyone who wants to help children keep safe, at home, returning to school or anywhere.

For more information…

How to adult

Anna Blackie (BA 2016)

Do you know your shiraz from your merlot?
Are you craving gravy but don’t know how your parents conjured this magical sauce?
Are you terrified of your impending adult responsibility?
From doing your taxes to changing a tyre, asking for a raise to mastering avocado preparation How to Adult contains everything a fully functioning adult should know to survive in the grown-up world.
Packed with life advice gained by an actual hopeless millennial through consistent failure, humiliation and awkward conversations, this book will keep you from starvation, make folding fitted sheets a reality, and teach you how to look like a professional adult when you’re actually an incompetent trash human.
Get wise, get it together, and grow the hell up.
Shit you should know, but probably don’t.

For more information…


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