Author(s): Jacqueline Fahey
Before I Forget is the second volume of memoirs by well-known painter, feminist and writer Jacqueline Fahey. In her first volume, Something for the Birds (AUP, 2006), Fahey described her childhood in Timaru and bohemian life as an art student. 'With this richly detailed and warm-toned memoir, Fahey looks set to be Timaru's Turgenev - with a sprinkling of Irish pepper,' Michael Morrissey wrote. Before I Forget kicks off after her marriage to the celebrated psychiatrist Fraser McDonald and recounts Fahey's battles against conventional society to shape a life as an artist as well as a wife, a writer as well as a mother. She describes life in New Zealand and Australian mental hospitals and art schools; friendships with Rita Angus and Eric McCormick; an account of the art scene in New York in 1980; and a run-in with Titewhai Harawira at Carrington Hospital. Hilarious, opinionated, fiery, the book is held together by the inimitable voice of a fiercely original and nonconformist storyteller.
Jacqueline Fahey was born in Timaru in 1929. A distinguished artist, especially known for her paintings of domestic and suburban life, she is also a writer. Fahey was one of the first New Zealand artists to work explicitly from a woman’s perspective and in the late 1980s she became an influential lecturer at Elam School of Fine Arts at Auckland University. Fahey was selected to represent New Zealand at the 1985 Sydney Perspecta and her work was included in the 2007 exhibition 100 Feminist Painters at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.
Preface -- Chapter One Now and Then -- Chapter Two Revelations and Lost Bits -- Chapter Three Meeting Rita Angus -- Chapter Four Not Going Quietly into That Dark Night -- Chapter Five Mum's Winter of Despair -- Chapter Six The Time of Day -- Chapter Seven The Life of the Artist as Wife and Mother -- Chapter Eight Jack in the Box -- Chapter Nine The Chelsea Hotel -- Chapter Ten Goya's Demons -- Chapter Eleven The Expensive Hotel with Rather Strange Inhabitants -- Chapter Twelve Titirangi-- Chapter Thirteen My Postgrad -- Chapter Fourteen New York Recall -- Chapter Fifteen Adjusting Attitudes in the Life Class -- Chapter Sixteen 'Old Age Is Not for Sissies'-- Chapter Seventeen Down in Grey Lynn -- Chapter Eighteen Showing in the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA and Never Getting There -- Chapter Nineteen Just One of Those Things -- Chapter Twenty Hello & Goodbye.