Join Mary Garden to celebrate the re-issue of the book, Sundowner of the Skies, the story of her father, Oscar Garden.
‘A rattling searing soulful story’ ‒ TRENT DALTON
‘A deeply personal study of a gloriously flawed adventurer’ ‒ GRANTLEE KIEZA
Sundowner of the Skies is the remarkable story of Oscar Garden, an unsung hero of pioneer aviation, written by his daughter Mary Garden. In 1930 Oscar flew from London to Australia in a tiny open-cockpit Gipsy Moth with only 40 hours of previous flying experience, his flight the third fastest after veteran aviators Bert Hinkler and Charles Kingsford. When he landed at Wyndham, the northernmost town of Western Australia, no one was expecting him. All other aviators had made landfall at Darwin. The press dubbed him ‘Sundowner of the Skies’ ‒ sundowner describes an Australian swagman who arrives unexpectedly out of nowhere on sundown and disappears the next morning.
Oscar Garden was not just a great early flyer but a strange, lonely and self-defeating man. Mary Garden allows him his achievements but is clear-eyed about his failings: his almost pathological self-centredness, his hardness and cruelty as a father.
Shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s History Award 2020, for a book of international significance, the judges noted:
‘Beautifully written, Sundowner of the Skies is no hagiography. Garden eloquently evokes her father’s brief moment of barnstorming celebrity but frames it between his troubled childhood in Scotland and her own troubled childhood during Oscar’s long and resentful retirement in New Zealand.
This cathartic family history is a profound exploration of inter-generational trauma and its effects on individuals, families and their shared memories.’
RSVP by phone 08 8953 2137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.