Former Australian leader Kevin Rudd may have thought his shock toppling from power stranger than fiction, but his novelist daughter foresaw it in prescient detail, a report said Saturday.
Jessica Rudd’s debut novel Campaign Ruby reads like a script for the startling events which saw her father deposed in a backroom party coup, detailing an incumbent leader’s ousting by his female deputy.
The novel describes an “emotional” man, supported by his wife, telling journalists “I am proud,” as his lip quivered, according to Caroline Overington, a journalist with the Australian newspaper who has read an advance copy of the novel.
“The PM’s been toppled,” one protagonist, a political journalist, says in the book.
“This was a seamless move ... Very few people expected this day would come quite so quickly, if at all. Everybody is stunned,” the novel continues.
“This is an historic day. She will be Australia’s first female prime minister.”
A former lawyer who lives with her husband in Beijing, Rudd even hit home with the theme of her successor’s first speech, having the newly-sworn in fictional female PM declare: “The Australian people have been telling us for some time now that change is needed.
“Not a change of government, but a change of leadership,” she says, words remarkably similar to new leader Julia Gillard’s maiden speech.
Gillard said she asked her Labor colleagues to “make a leadership change because I believe that a good government was losing its way ... and at risk at the next election,” adding that she was “not going to sit idly by.”
Campaign Ruby, Rudd’s first novel, is due for publication in August, and Overington was tight-lipped about the plot’s climax.
“An election is called. It pits the new female PM against a male leader of the opposition,” Overington wrote.
“Who wins? As in life, you’ll have to wait and see.”