Through the Gay Looking Glass: The Many Lives of Clive Madigan

Author(s): Garry Wotherspoon

History | Gay Male & Bi Biography/Memoir | Australian/Aotearoa

Clive Madigan was an unusual man who lived an unusual life in unusual times. He was born and grew up in Sydney’s inner-city working class suburbs, a larrikin becoming, barely out of his teens, a member of the ‘Hyde Park Push’ [a group of camp men who drank at night around the Archibald Fountain and cruised other men there, while avoiding police]. He was soon organizing parties for them in the most unlikely suburban venues, and was later ‘outed’ in Sydney newspapers. Over much of the same time, he had an ongoing criminal career, which had started when he was a young teenager, and he consequently spent many periods in gaol.


Later, having fled Sydney for the ‘safety’ of north Queensland, he took to writing about ‘life’ and his adventures – almost an Antipodean Jean Genet. The book reveals to us many long-hidden aspects of Sydney’s history, touching on its ‘camp’ world, its bohemian demi-monde, its criminal underworld, and life in our gaols. The ‘memoir’ is also a meditation on memory, truth and fiction, and how the past can be variously seen.

April 2020

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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780646813172
  • : Carlton Publishing
  • : Carlton Publishing
  • : April 2020
  • : April 2020
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 246
  • : Paperback
  • : Garry Wotherspoon