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Kathy Lette 'makes convict ancestors proud'

15th March 2010

Australian novelist Kathy Lette thinks her convict ancestors would be proud of her reputation as a well-respected member of law-abiding society.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the Men - A User's Guide author said that receiving an honorary doctorate from Southampton Solent University inspired her to look into her past and find out about her ancestors, who were transported from England to Australia in the 1780s.

The writer argued that being convicted of relatively minor crimes and sent to the other end of the earth was actually a good experience for her family, as it allowed them to make a fresh start and reinvent themselves.

'So what would Joshua Peck and Mary Frost make of their great-great-great-great-granddaughter receiving an honory doctorate from a university only miles from where they set sail for Botany Bay in shackles? I'm sure they'd be rattling their chains with mirth,' she explained.

Lette added that her ancestors would no doubt feel proud that she achieved so much after her family started life anew in Australia with so little, adding that she is not ashamed to be from convict stock.

In a recent interview with the Metro, the author claimed that the secret to becoming a good novelist is to have an unhappy childhood and then write about it instead of having therapy.

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