True North by Catherine Deveny | Black Inc.

True North: A Memoir

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About the author

Catherine Deveny

Catherine Deveny is a writer, speaker and comedian. She is the author of ten books, including True North, Mental, Use Your Words and The Happiness Show.

More about Catherine Deveny

Praise for True North

‘A bombshell of honesty and hope. This book has the power to heal hearts.’—Clare Bowditch

‘Catherine Deveny is a blazing light in a world that is often grim. She brings her immense generosity of spirit to this beautiful memoir, and we are blessed to have her.—Clementine Ford

'How did Catherine Deveny transform from “a loud-mouth Catholic bogan from Reservoir” to a loud-mouth atheist from Coburg? In this riveting account of her life, Deveny deploys her love of words, joy in storytelling and razor-sharp instinct to take us on a wild, brilliant ride. George Pell would not approve.’—Josh Bornstein, lawyer, writer, presenter

Deveny's unparalleled ability to sniff out bullshit and illuminate the truth make this the kind of story that stays with you long after you turn the final page . . .Truly superb; one of the most clear-eyed, compelling and insightful memoirs I've ever read.’

—Michael Lallo, senior culture editor, The Age

'Catherine Deveny has magic in her, and so does every page of this book. There are no words left to explain how I feel about the extreme truths and candid self-knowledge shared in these pages, because Deveny has used them all. Breathtaking.’

—Chrissie Swan, broadcaster, television presenter and life enthusiast

‘This memoir is more than a searingly funny yet brutal observation of growing up in Melbourne's working-class suburbs in the ’70s and ’80s. It's also an exploration of the ties that bind – from family to religion to friendships, and how the choices we make can change everything.’

—Dee Madigan, author and ad chick, as seen on TV


'True Northis like reading with virtual reality goggles on. You are in the room living life as she does: authentically, truthfully and bloody deeply.’

—Fiona Patten, MP, author and activist

'A viscerally raw and honest tale of a fractured Melbourne family, relationships and children and no-fault divorce. No-punches-pulled descriptions of growing up in northern and inner Melbourne. True North is honest, funny, loving, creative and full of humanity. I loved reading this. It’s a ripping yarn.

—David Bridie, musician

‘Dev takes you on a tour of her life, including an intimate view of Melbourne, a masterclass in relationships (especially break-ups and grief) and a profound and illuminating take on what it means to find truth despite the narratives our societies are built upon. True North is beautiful, funny and astute in equal measure.’

Professor Steve Ellen, psychiatrist, author, presenter, broadcaster

True North is crammed with the characteristic wit and offhand wisdom that makes spending time in Catherine’s company so energising and addictive.’

—Daniel Burt, RRR Breakfaster, comedy writer, performer

‘Frank and fearless.’ —Country Style

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