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Memoir of a Body

Australian actor Anna McGahan tells with searing honesty her story of fame, and of unexpected faith.

Australian actor Anna McGahan tells with searing honesty her story of fame, and of unexpected faith.

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“It was, I suppose, a divorce that looked like an estrangement, and even a hatred. Just this sense of ‘I’m not at home in my body, I don’t like the way my body looks, and I don’t like the way my body feels, and I don’t like the fact that I’m stuck within it’.”

Anna McGahan never really expected to be an actor – but after graduating, she landed a series of high-profile roles on TV shows like Underbelly, House Husbands, Anzac Girls, and The Doctor Blake Mysteries

There was a dark side, though, to the glamour of her new life. In her newly published memoir Metanoia, Anna describes her struggles with self-worth, body image, relationships, and spiritual hunger, and how they led her to an unexpected place. 

“It never occurred to me that I could be friends with Christians,” Anna laughs. But meeting some believers who didn’t fit with her mental image of Christianity kickstarted a journey for her that was to change fundamentally how she related to spirituality, work, art – and especially her own body. 

“I remember so clearly this one scripture. I took it completely out of context, but Jesus is chatting to a whole bunch of people and he tells them, ‘You are the light of the world’. I read that and I took it to heart immediately – not because I felt like it validated my point of view about myself, but because I had never heard words like that spoken over my life. I had never considered that I could be a force of goodness or light or kindness. I just wasn’t. It permeated me. And what’s more, it permeated my body.” 

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Check out Anna’s book Metanoia: A Memoir of a Body, Born Again