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When she is four years old Amra Pajali realises that her mother is different. Fatima is loving but sometimes hears strange voices that tell her to do bizarre things. She is frequently sent to hospital and Amra and her brother are passed around to family friends and foster homes, and for a time live with their grandparents in Bosnia. At 16 Amra ends up in the school counsellor’s office for wagging school. She finally learns the name for the malady that has dogged her mother and affected her own life: bipolar disorder. Amra becomes her mother’s confidante and learns the extraordinary story of her life. When she was 15 years old, Fatima visited family friends only to find herself in an arranged marriage. By the age of 16 she was a migrant, a mother, and mentally ill.

To enter, tell us the name of Amra's mother.


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Things Nobody Knows But Me

When she is four years old Amra Pajalic realises that her mother is different. Fatima is loving but sometimes hears strange voices that tell her to do bizarre things. She is frequently sent to hospital and Amra and her brother are passed around to family friends and foster homes, and for a time live with their grandparents in Bosnia. At sixteen Amra ends up in the school counsellor's office for wagging school. She finally learns the name for the malady that has dogged her mother and affected her own life: bipolar disorder. Amra becomes her mother's confidante and learns the extraordinary story of her life: when she was fifteen years old Fatima visited family friends only to find herself in an arranged marriage. At sixteen she was a migrant, a mother, and mental patient. Surprisingly funny, Things Nobody Knows But Me is a tender portrait of family and migration, beautifully told. It captures a wonderful sense of bicultural place and life as it weaves between St Albans in suburban Australia and Bosanska Gradiska in Bosnia. Ultimately it is the heartrending story of a mother and daughter bond fractured and forged by illness and experience. Fatima emerges as a remarkable but wounded woman who learns that her daughter really loves her.


Terms and conditions

Entry is open to all residents of Australia and New Zealand from 1 May 2019 to 30 May 2019. 2. Employees and the immediate families of the promoter and agencies associated with this promotion are ineligible. 3. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 4. The first correct entries drawn from the competition on 3 June 2019 will win a copy of the book. 5. The promoter accepts no responsibility for late, lost or misdirected mail. 6. The winners of the prizes will be notified by email in June 2019.