The Idea of Home

John Hughes



In The Idea of Home John Hughes writes about growing up in the Hunter Valley coal-mining town of Cessnock, in a household dominated by memories of the Ukraine, which his mother and grandparents were forced to flee during the Second World War.

Hughes charts the effect their stories and routines had on him as a child, the way they shaped his imagination, and determined his idea of himself, as a student in Newcastle, and later as the holder of a prestigious scholarship at Cambridge University. Yet this inheritance almost undoes him, for in Cambridge what he encounters is not the romantic idea of Europe he had imagined, but a provincialism more pronounced than that he had left behind in Australia.


Print ISBN : 1-920882-04-9
pp : 207pp
Published : November 2004

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About the Author

John Hughes
John Hughes was born in Cessnock, in the Hunter Valley of NSW, and educated at the Universities of Newcastle and Cambridge, and the University of Technology, Sydney. His first book, The Idea of Home: Autobiographical Essays, won both the National Biography Award and the NSW Premier’s Award for Non Fiction. He is the librarian at Sydney Grammar School.


Sydney Morning Herald 


Winner 2005 NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction