> Skip to content

Now an adult, Debbie and her girlfriends reveal what women really say when men aren't around. Oh dear . . .!

Now an adult on L-plates, Debbie and her girlfriends reveal what women talk about when there are no men around. Prepare yourself for full-frontal comedic camaraderie.

After breaking off with both her best friend and boyfriend, Debbie runs away to the inner-city world of punk rock, dodgy jobs, new mates and R-rated adventures.

It’s the kaleidoscopic 1980s, a time of perms, shoulder pads, Blondie and Bowie, prawn cocktails, fondue parties and mistaking promiscuity for feminism. The blokes are laughing all the way to the sperm bank – of course they’re for ‘free love’ as they don’t have to pay for it.

Preyed upon by married men and misogynistic bosses, girlfriends are the only people you can rely on. Debbie’s female pals are her human Wonderbras – uplifting and supportive. But it’s not until the girls’ night out that these friends really peel off to their emotional undies … And it’s a psychological striptease which reveals some jaw-dropping truths.

With equal parts humour and pathos, Kathy Lette, one of the pioneering voices of contemporary feminism, exposes all the fun and foolish things girls do when scrabbling to find their high-heeled feet in the world.

Reviews

After the Blues, returns the setting to Australia and is a kind of follow-up to Puberty Blues. The surfie chicks, now older, are still struggling through relationships with men of epic insensitivity, very few of whom are aware of a different era. The book’s various chapters are written in different styles: first and third person, letters and a diary. The theme — of failed and failing relationships — and the humour found among even the most depressing situations provides the unity. Perhaps the most remarkable chapter is the first-person anecdote, Free Kick. Something of a literary tour de force, it is in the form of a revelation by a football groupie of the rules and the reality of the situation. Perhaps a few of Lette’s quips become a little wearing but most strike me as acute.

Bruce Beresford, The Australian

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780143786962

    November 27, 2017

    Vintage Australia

    288 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780143786979

    November 27, 2017

    Random House Australia

    288 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Extract

The tsunami

‘By the time you find yourself, there’ll be nobody home!’

That was my father’s verdict when I rang home from Central Station to let my parents know that I’d run away and was catching the train up north. ‘I mean, is that what this is all about? “Finding yourself” on some commune or something?’

I was nearly sixteen and with my bestie. Sarah and I had been best pals all through school and we had saved each other’s sanity on a daily basis. We laughed at the same things, loved the same things, we finished each other’s sentences – hell, we knew what each other was thinking before we’d even thought it.

We’d been together through thick and thin . . . and times had been Ryvita-thin of late. Drug overdoses, unwanted pregnancies, school suspensions, abortions, catfights, beach territorial warfare… Welcome to life in the top Cronulla surfie gang.

Continue Reading
Article
A Note on The Blues

Kathy Lette on surviving puberty, feminism, and ‘what happened next’.

Also by Kathy Lette

Best Laid Plans
Courting Trouble
Love Is Blind
Nip 'N' Tuck
Altar Ego
Puberty Blues
Mad Cows
Foetal Attraction
The Boy Who Fell To Earth
Men: A User's Guide
Because I am a Girl
To Love, Honour And Betray

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Midnight's Children
A Gentleman in Moscow
Echo Burning
The Girl on the Train
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Voyager
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Swing Time
Tiger Men
The Bear and The Nightingale
Breath
Ready Player One
A Long Way from Home
The Light Between Oceans
The Travelling Cat Chronicles
The Trip of a Lifetime
Nineteen Eighty-Four