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Metanoia: A memoir of a body, born again


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About the Author

Anna is a professional actor and writer, based in Melbourne. She is primarily employed in Australian television ('Underbelly: Razor', 'House Husbands', 'Anzac Girls', 'The Dr Blake Mysteries', 'Picnic at Hanging Rock'), film ('Project Eden', '100 Bloody Acres') and theatre ('The Effect' - Sydney Theatre Company). Anna was awarded the Heath Ledger Scholarship in 2012 and the Inside Film `Out of the Box' Award, and was nominated for two Logies in 2012 and the Australian Directors Guild award for `Best Actress' in 2013. As a writer, she focuses on fictional drama for stage and screen, and narrative non-fiction literature. She received the Queensland Young Playwright's Award in 2008 and 2009, was short-listed for the Queensland Premier's Drama Award in 2010, and The Saturday Paper's national essay award `The Horne Prize' in 2016. In 2016/2017 she co-wrote and toured two sold-out seasons of the parabolic theatre piece `The People of the Sun', in partnership with SPARC and The Justice Conference. Anna became a Christian in 2012, after being raised without faith. She has since lived, studied and worked both nationally and internationally, stretching and growing in diverse Christian communities. In 2015 she founded a virtual and physical space to safely express and explore the intersection of creativity and spirituality, called `The Fireplace'. She now leads over 1200 artists that connect online and also meet up nationally, in monthly gatherings, to discuss faith in Jesus. Anna is especially passionate about leading young women, and nurturing their relationships with their own bodies, hearts and minds.


DEBRA HIRSCH, Missional leader, pastor, speaker and author of `Redeeming Sex' and co-author of `Untamed': `The human yearning to know and be known will not be satisfied until it finds its true resting place in God (Augustine). Anna McGahan's story leaves no doubt of that. "Metanoia" is more than a memoir. It reminds us of our own lostness, and if we pay attention, our own foundness. Anna captures the plight of the human soul and beckons us through our own jagged existence to a trust that doesn't always make sense, a grace that begs healing, and to a love which is our truest rest.'; MELINDA TANKARD REIST, author, speaker, co-founder Collective Shout: `Deeply affecting, devastatingly raw, immensely authentic yet also, at times, ethereal ... Anna's autobiography was a true pleasure to read. I found it deeply affecting, devastatingly raw, immensely authentic yet also, ethereal. "Metanoia" is written with a lyrical simplicity which mines great depths - exploring the human heart, weakness, brokenness, fracture, longing, and a woman's search for meaning. Naturally I was especially impacted by Anna's experience of having images from TV shows in which she starred, appropriated for evil intent (`What I felt I had gifted freely for the sake of art, was being received like pornography'). Anna shares her flaws and fallings with rare intimacy, making the discovery of grace and transfiguration into a new spiritual and earthly way of life even more entrancing. I cannot recall the last time I was so moved by a personal before-and-after narrative of radical transformation.'; SAM VALICH-DEWHURST, Principal, The Values Driven Co.: `I just met Anna McGahan - a brave, honest and divinely chased-down woman, artist and sister - who invites the reader to honour, love and explore life with wholeheartedness and to see a deeply personal God who dwells with us in our in-between places. The concepts Anna covers in "Metanoia" can divide people, but there is no judgement in her tone. If you must be her judge, then judge her writing skill - it is flowing and flawless in my opinion - but please don't judge her story, her life so far. Simply read it and allow its honesty to move your story forward. Maybe you will recognise the God you know in her story like I did. Maybe it will sharpen you, answer an unanswered question, compel your tired heart or send you running. Either way, "Metanoia" is a gift to the constant ebb and flow of relationships - with the self, with the divine, with the past, with future dreams and with others.'; STEPHEN ROACH, The Breath and the Clay creative arts movement, Makers and Mystics podcast: `Anna's honest and at times, heartbreaking narrative is a monument to the desperate longings of the human spirit and its most devoted companion, our bodies. "Metanoia" is an incarnational work of art.'; SUSAN SOHN, speaker, blogger, Founder of SomoSociety and GetRealLlive: `Anna McGahan self-describes as one who has five different occupations; actor, writer, believer, wife and mama. In "Metanoia", you see how all of these occupations intertwine to become fully her, but she is more than these words. The voyage she takes the reader on in her debut of non-fiction is beautiful, heart-breaking, yet full of hope. Anna's relationship with God and her body comes full circle where she is able to release her past and accept his sovereignty to embrace the future. Enter but beware; as a reader who travels with Anna from chapter one through to the last chapter you will be a different person as you close the last page. A transformation will take place.'; JOEL MCKERROW, Writer, Poet, Educator, Creativity Specialist: `Opening the pages of "Metanoia" is like accepting an invitation. A hand held out toward you that says, "Come. Take a look. This is all of me." Anna offers her story to the reader with absolute abandon. She tells us the truth of it all. She is not afraid of offending through who she was, nor who she has become. She bids us to sit down, in the armchair of the hollowed-out space inside, and to let her story wash over. And when it does, when you open yourself to the life of this woman, to the eloquence of her writing, to the truth of her experience, I assure you, you will come to your own moment of metanoia.'; VICKIE REDDY, Executive Producer, The Justice Conference; Founder, SPARC: `If you have met Anna, you will know that there is something special about her that you can't quite put your finger on, and this memoir gives us a glimpse into what it might be. Her captivating storytelling reveals a deeply transformed life resulting from a simplicity attained in and through experience. Hers is a profound story that encompasses brokenness, restoration, beauty and wholeness; mirroring the Creator's plan for humanity and indeed all of creation. Her story, as well as her life, represents the goodness God desires for those who might seek it.'

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