Jane Sinclair

Shy Love Smiles and Acid Drops

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When I was five my mother followed her lover, Arthur Boyd, to London, taking me with her. My book covers the two years we lived there before returning to Australia in 1962, when my mother was three months pregnant to an Englishman.
As an adult, Jane Sinclair discovered the exchange of letters from 1961 to 1962 between her parents Jean Langley, artist, and John Sinclair, music critic. Jane was five years old when Jean left her husband and took her to London to be close to her lover.
Set in England and Australia, at a time when their friends John and Sunday Reed were high-profile arts patrons at their property Heide during a period of sexual liberation and a flowering of the arts, the complex relationship between Jane’s parents emerges through an exchange of long, often heartbreaking letters and journal entries.
The powerful words are strengthened by photographs from that period. The distinctive cover design was painted by the author.
Letter from Jean to John, 18 Oct 1961: There is no news except that a shocking little upstart called Brett Whiteley won an important art prize in Paris. There is a beautiful Nolan exhibition on (American Sketch Book). Also on show are some pages of his writings and I was most moved. Charles Blackman has his show in about two weeks.
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348 printed pages
Original publication



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