This Accidental Present: A Story of Two Families

By Ross Wilson
$30.00 Sold Out

The intersecting lives of extraordinary people: Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker) and Sir Raphael & Lady Phyllis Cilento.

In 1951, Kath Walker (later Oodgeroo Noonuccal) became the live-in housekeeper for the family of Sir Raphael and Lady Cilento, an illustrious Brisbane medical family with connections to the United Nations, and –– through Diane Cilento and her husband Sean Connery –– global show business.

In 1953, Kath had a son –– Vivian –– with the scion of the Cilento clan, Dr Raff Cilento Jnr, who didn’t acknowledge his paternity.

Ooodgeroo became the best-selling poet in Australia, and an important Aboriginal activist –– while Raff Jnr would become a neurosurgeon in New York.

Vivian was a renowned choreographer and dancer in Sydney and London –– and, for a while, part-owner of the world’s largest gay disco in West Hollywood.

Yet at the heart of the lifelong relationship between these families was a secret. On her deathbed, Ooodgeroo wanted to know whether Lady Cilento ever knew that Vivian was her grandson.

140 pages
paperback, b/w illustrations


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