Author Archives: Antonella Gambotto-Burke

My brother at his very best

“It is difficult to describe my brother’s comic riffs without his understated expression, metronome nods, and low, wry voice. That and a bus ticket, he would drawl, will get you to Neutral Bay. Where my laugh is an octave played by Chopin, his was remarkable: from this solid, heavy-jawed man, laughter like a pumping garden hose suddenly freed from the sprinkler – undulating, wildly glittering through the bluest air. My brother’s laugh was unexpected, sheer, and ravishing and in it, he was liberated. Just watch me fly! The properties of his laugh were magical, but also used to disguise truth. My brother used laughter as a kind of insulation or substitute for emotional revelation. Like that last email he sent his friend, it was part of a greater insistence that all was fine when it was not. I pressed him to acknowledge hurts. Sometimes he allowed pain to surface. In razor-grabs, he expressed feelings denied him. The speed and compression of these admissions suggested a fear of judgment.”

– from The Eclipse, A Memoir of Suicide

This photograph of Gianluca in the old Macquarie Bank headquarters on Bond Street just arrived in my inbox from an old workmate of his. It is the most adorable picture of him ever taken – on the cusp of giggling, the very soul of mischief.


“In this country of billboards covered in tits”

Disgust / arousal triggered by breastfeeding is one of the byproducts of living in a culture in which every part of a woman’s body is sexualised commodified fetishised. The ferocity of Hollie McNish‘s Embarrassed brought me to tears because I experienced all of it when breastfeeding. Heavily pregnant and with a hammering heart, I also remember being catcalled – pornographic terms – by men in a slowing truck on an isolated road. That fear of being raped – the vulnerability – was unlike anything I’d ever known: I was shaking. On my return home, I wept.

Male suicide in Britain / grief

“One of the things that made me angry after my brother’s death was the insistent perception of him as ‘mentally ill’ on the basis of his final choice. My brother was philosophically impaired, emotionally paralysed and stubborn, but he was not mentally ill. Mental illness suggests some kind of biological maladjustment such as that caused by injury or drug-induced chemical imbalances, whereas my brother, like many male suicides I have known, reacted normally to an abnormal situation. My brother felt he could not show the suffering that revealed him as sensitive; to do so would have threatened his gender status. It was easier for him to die.”

– from my piece about my brother’s suicide in today’s Telegraph (UK)


Mama: Love, Motherhood + Revolution


So much going on at the moment – articles to be published, book-related news, etc. – but no time to report. Until then, just some of the coverage for #1 Amazon motherhood bestseller on its release Mama: Love, Motherhood and Revolution – not that I’m suggesting you buy a copy for all the mothers in your life for Mother’s Day or anything, although it would, along with a hologram of Lord Byron and a month at Claridge’s, make a SMASHING gift. Mama: Love, Motherhood and Revolution is available on Amazon or x

Interview / Online / UK

Extract / Newspaper / UK

Extract / Magazine / South Africa

Interview / Newspaper / UK

Extract / Online / UK

Review / Online / USA

Interview / Magazine / UK

Review / Newspaper / Asia

Interview / Newspaper / Asia

Interview / Newspaper / Australia

Interview / Radio / Australia

Essay / Newspaper / Australia

Interview / Radio / Australia

Interview / Radio / Australia

Extract / Newspaper / Australia

Review / Online / Australia

Interview / Online / Australia

Review / Newspaper / Australia

Interview / Radio / Australia

Interview / Newspaper / Australia

*Image: Sydney University’s School of Social and Political Sciences Magazine, Issue 4, 2016 /
Quote by Dr Anjalee Cohen

The Force / Don Winslow

My review of Don Winslow’s new blockbuster can be found here.

Other that Guns and Penises, The Force was the only possible title, really, because tough guys need to surround themselves with things that make them feel tough. Titles like Ideological Dinosaurs Still Roam The Earth or My Knob, My Rules or American Fuckwit just didn’t have the same commercial punch. Some quotes from this new classic of modern literature?

What passes for a compliment:

Malone says, “You spic cunt.”
Paz smiles at him. “Spic cunt is famously good. That’s why everyone wants them some.”


How the hero expresses his anger towards a woman:

Malone gets up, goes for her. “You fucking cunt!”

Because real men don’t need to explain their anger in a respectful way – they just get abusive.


What passes for love:

“It was her voice, low and soft, even more than her looks, that first drew him to her. A voice full of promises and reassurance. You’ll find comfort here. And pleasure. In my arms, in my mouth, in my pussy.”

Mouth, pussy and arms/arse: these are the most important attributes of any woman. Listen to Don, children. He’s old and wise. The man knows what he’s talking about!


What passes for humour:

“‘… then he wets his dick in thousand-dollar pussy, comes out and says, ‘Don’t tell Amy’!’ They all crack up again.”

Because ninety dollar pussy is for losers, and because it’s really, really funny to feel bad about fucking a woman other than your partner. It is, in fact, it is so funny that all the male characters “crack up”. As if a real man would be honest, faithful or respectful with a woman! D’oh!


How women talk to the men they love:

“You smell like pussy, you motherfucker. White pussy, some ratchet?”

I have yet to finish calculating the value of white pussy in relation to black pussy – taking ratchet and non-ratchet variables into account, of course … over to you, Don!

'We're hoping to go back to the James Bond of the novels, so we're looking for a sexist, misogynist dinosaur.'

Observations on the younger generation:

“So much young pussy around these days and they give it away for an iTunes download.”

Did anyone say “blonde moment”? These girls need to enroll in the legendary business course “Bang for Your Buck: Valuing Pussy 101” pronto! Subjects covered include:

– Explore how to make pussy appraisal decisions and valuation!
– Examine the workings and efficiency of pussy markets!
– Master the principles of cock structure!
– Perform valuations of pussies using real-world cases!
– Learn how to put a value on any pussy in a global context!

Base your future decisions on the knowledge of pussy markets, cost of lingerie, cash flow modelling, liquidity, intellectual governance, cross-gender transactions, optimal aesthetic value and analysis of oral technique. A baccalaureate in pornography is, of course, is essential.


What real men do on a Saturday night:

“You don’t go bowling. That’s just a cover to pig out, get drunk and fuck cheap whores.”

As if! Our hero only fucks expensive whores.


What passes for romance:

“You were never ‘some whore I fucked.’”

Golly. Is it hot in here, or have I just been staring at Don Winslow’s jacket photograph?

Don Winslow, former African safari guide, applies the same principles to his hero

Don Winslow, former African safari guide, applies the same principles to his hero

Why all women should be euthanised at the age of thirty:

“… the smell of old garbage and stale urine, sweet, sour, sickly and corrupt as an old whore’s perfume.”

Yes, “old” (prob over 28) whores smell like “old garbage and stale urine”, but old johns are very different. Old johns are what EVERY piece of thousand-dollar pussy wants – and the older, the better. What kind of freakish young woman would want a gentle, respectful, beautiful guy her own age? Gimme sumdat sugarstick, Methuselah! Sixtysomething men, in fact, offer a pleasure so intense that, like Precambrian poster-boy Hugh Hefner, they require multiple young partners simultaneously. Yes, ladies, they are SEXUAL STEAM ENGINES. Don’t believe me?

“Harry was sixtysomething, I dunno,” Russo says, “but fucking like he’s nineteen. Two girls at a time, three, he’s a steam engine. Girls are tag-teaming, he’s wearing them out … So this one night … there’s Harry, in the sack, hookers standing around him weeping like he’s Jesus or something.”

As it happens, Don is 63. (I’m still trying to work out what that means in relation to the quote.)


What passes for an evening out:

“… usually just an excuse to get drunk with your buddies or bang some whore, or both.”

Yes, that’s right, children: “some whore” – a thing, an object, three holes and an invoice.


And people ask why I married a much younger man.