Wildest Dreams: A Selective Memoir.
Brisbane: University of Queensland
Press, 1998. 310 pages. ISBN 0 7022 3019 7.
MICHAEL WILDING'S Wildest Dreams: A Selective Memoir is a major new book by a major Australian writer. In loosely strung together chapters (stories) it traces the career of a writer named Graham, clearly based upon the author. Indeed most if not all of the characters in this "selective memoir are drawn from life. The rival writer Joe is obviously Frank Moorhouse, Bobbie is the publisher Pat Woolley, Valda is Vicki Viidikas, and so on right through the lot.
A sad footnote is that Vicki Viidikas died on 27 November 1998, aged fifty. In a moving obituary in The Australian (11 December 1998), Wilding wrote: "It is a tragedy and a scandal that so comparatively small a part of her work appeared in print." In the memoir Valda is remembered as the "excluded, the expunged, the erased" (214). At the same time Wilding brings Valda vividly to life and reinstates her in the literary scene of the Sydney of some thirty years ago. So too are …