The Women's Library

Books by, for and about women – run by volunteers

Recent additions to the Library

September 2017

Ann Hannah, My (Un)Remarkable Grandmother – A Psychological Biography

by Betty McLellan

Ann Hannah was an ordinary, no-nonsense, practical woman. While a constant and caring presence in the life of her granddaughter Betty McLellan, she remained emotionally distant.

In an effort to understand her grandmother, Betty has used Ann Hannah’s everyday expressions as a starting point to uncover the truth about her life. These words and phrases, heard countless times during Betty’s childhood, are the clues to a life that, like those of many working-class women in the early 1900s, was fraught with challenges and difficulties and ignored by historians.

What did Ann Hannah mean when she said that she was forced to migrate to Australia from England in the 1920s? Why did she remember her husband as a ‘wickid’ man? How did she cope with the death of those close to her, including her own son? How did she manage to overcome the struggles and disappointments that punctuated her life?

Written with a sharp feminist consciousness that displays both compassion and intellect, this astute psychological biography tells the story of a resilient woman who, when placed in circumstances beyond her control, managed to live a good life. It provides valuable insight into the lives of many (un)remarkable women whose lives may have gone unnoticed but whose experiences shed so much light on the realities faced by women throughout the 1900s.

Spinifex Press