The World’s Your Oyster – The life and times of a lady baby boomer
By Shirley McLaughlin
Book, 368 pages, perfect-bound soft-cover.
Proudly printed and bound by Foot & Playsted in Launceston, Tasmania.
‘You’re talented, young, healthy and wealthy
– the world’s your oyster!’
So wrote Shakespeare in his play As You Like It, and Shirley has structured this passionate, audacious, graphic and forever changing historical memoir on his ‘seven ages of wo/man’.
As a professional writer for more than 40 years, Shirley always swore she’d never write a memoir. Not only has she had more careers and lived in more places than anyone she’s ever known, but telling the truth of the good, bad and ugly experiences of her life was a bridge too far. Her resistance unravelled when she appointed her beloved Gen-X nephews to be her ‘muse’ and they have narrated The World’s Your Oyster with candour, laughter and tears.
A born gambler, actor and writer, Shirley’s journey that began at the start of the baby boomer era was destined to be different. In her determination to conquer the world, she takes us from safe beginnings in country towns in Victoria to exotic, action-packed and sometimes life-threatening dramas around the globe.
From volunteer service to refugees on the sampans in Hong Kong to terrifying employment with a multinational in America, Shirley had to grow up fast. Two early marriages and a career in television and running her own entertainment agency in the 70s certainly helped. The 80s included executive recruitment/management consulting, a gourmet catering business, building a sports sponsorship bureau in London and working as a watch-dog for the NSW Mental Health Authority. Sexual harassment, bullying and abuse throughout these years was her Achilles Heel but finally the 90s gave her the chance to write what she wanted to write! Seven published books (incl. several best sellers at home and abroad), and seven ‘book flog’ tours later, she’d achieved that goal!
At the turn of the century she met her match and married him – her third husband following 32 years single and they are living happily ever after in beautiful Tasmania.
For anyone who thinks they’ve got a book in them, this is a ‘must read’!