Artful Histories was published by Cambridge University Press in 1996. CUP republished the title as an e-book in 2009.
- Winner, NSW Premier’s Literary Award, 1996;
- Shortlisted, Colin Roderick Award for Best Australian Book, 1997.
Publisher's blurb: Artful Histories is an account of modern Australian autobiography that radically revises theories of autobiography and discusses a remarkably broad range of popular and literary texts written over a period of three decades. In his challenge to post-structuralist theories of autobiography, particularly in terms of autobiography's relationship with fiction and history, David McCooey analyses the nature of the self, the question of intent and the role of narrative. He discusses the ways in which the autobiographer makes sense of his or her life through a developing but continuous awareness of the narrative quality of experience. The book explores themes around the mythology of childhood, education, sexuality, the discovery of hidden histories, the trauma of displacement and death and, finally, the importance of place in the Australian imagination.