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Beyond Words

A Year with Kenneth Cook

Jacqueline Kent



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Queensland Univ. Press
05 February 2019
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- When Jacqueline Kent was a young woman, quite independent and happy in her life as a freelance editor, she met Kenneth Cook. He was nearly twenty years older, a man from a different age and mindset, formed in ways and attitudes of a differing generation to hers. He was also the author of the famous novel 'Wake in Fright' although he had written other things, dabbled in different business ventures and was generally known as a larger-than-life character. When they met again, they formed a relationship, one which challenged, sustained and fulfilled - but which ended with his sudden death less than a mere two years later.

This is not a biography of Cook, or even of Kent, but an account of a beautiful friendship and love that gave both of them something they hadn't been looking for. It is a beautifully written testament to the power of attraction of opposites, and also a window into a certain time in Australian society and literary culture, one that seems much longer ago than the mid 80s... Lindy Jones


In 1985 Jacqueline Kent was content with her life. She had a satisfying career as a freelance book editor, and was emerging as a writer. Living and working alone, she relished her independence. But then she met Kenneth Cook, author of the Australian classic Wake in Fright, and they fell in love.

With bewildering speed Jacqueline found herself in alien territory- with a man almost twenty years older, whose life experience could not have been more different from her own. She had to come to terms with complicated finances and expectations, and to negotiate relationships with Ken's children, four people almost her own age. But with this man of contradictions - funny and sad, headstrong and tender - she found real and sustaining companionship.

Their life together was often joyful, sometimes enraging, always exciting - until one devastating evening. But, as Jacqueline discovered, even when a story is over that doesn't mean it has come to an end.

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By:   Jacqueline Kent
Imprint:   Queensland Univ. Press
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 204mm,  Width: 139mm,  Spine: 29mm
Weight:   408g
ISBN:   9780702260391
ISBN 10:   0702260398
Pages:   272
Publication Date:   05 February 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Jacqueline Kent was born in Sydney and grew up there and in Adelaide. After completing an arts degree she returned to Sydney and worked as a journalist, radio producer and scriptwriter for the ABC; in the 1970s she changed direction and became a book editor. She has written books of social history, general non-fiction and biography. A Certain Style, Beatrice Davis, A Literary Life won the National Biography Award and the Nita B. Kibble Award, and she is the biographer of musician and activist Hephzibah Menuhin, and of Julia Gillard. She holds a Doctorate of Creative Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney. Beyond Words- A Year with Kenneth Cook is her first memoir.

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