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My Place (1987)
de Sally Morgan
No hi ha cap discussió a Converses sobre aquesta obra.
What a charming, upsetting and perception challenging book. An excellent read. Provides some deep insights into how this country (Australia) treated Indigenous Australians from the perspective of an Indigenous family. The book was published in the mid 80's, however is still relevant today. - Perhaps even more so. ( )
I read what turned out to be a cheesy romance novel recently, just because the story was set in the outback, but the author recommended this book in her acknowledgements so I bought a copy. What a difference! Sally Morgan's family history/memoir is witty, endearing, honest and painful in places, recounting her discovery and acceptance of her Aboriginal heritage. She grew up in Perth in the 1980s, with her mother Gladys, four siblings and her nan, Daisy, and once asked her mother, in all innocence, which country they originally came from. Her mother and grandmother had learned to be ashamed, even fearful, of admitting that they were Aboriginal Australians and never told Sally and her brothers and sisters about where their family came from. After reading the personal memories of Gladys, Daisy and Daisy's brother Arthur, told through Sally, that bitter secret seems almost understandable.
The first part of the book is a standard memoir, with the thread of identity running through Sally's vault of hilarious childhood anecdotes. Young Sally reminded me of Scout in Mockingbird, a wilful and individual child whose imagination keeps getting her into trouble. Her father, who was a POW during the Second World War and suffered from (undiagnosed) PTSD when he returned home, took his life when his children were still young, but despite poverty and prejudice, the family stuck together and looked out for each other. 'You lot stick like glue,' a classmate tells Sally, and I love that about them. Nan is a fantastic character, leaving onions all over the house and chatting up Jehovah's witnesses to use their leaflets as toilet paper, but beneath all the humour, there is a sadness and a frustration too. When Sally realises that her family are Aboriginal, she wants to learn more, but both Gladys and Daisy have distanced themselves from the past.
I suppose, in hundreds of years time, there won't be any black Aboriginals left. Our colour dies out; as we mix with other races, we'll lose some of the physical characteristics that distinguish us now. i like to think that, no matter what we become, our spiritual tie with the land and the other unique qualities we possess, will somehow weave their way through to future generations of Australians. I mean, this is our land after all, surely we've got something to offer.'
Daisy, born in 1900, and Gladys, born in 1931, were both used and abused by white men, in particular, fathered by employers but then sent away from the land like dirty secrets. Children fathered by white men who 'passed' for white were even taken from their Aboriginal mothers and adopted out (the 'Stolen Generations'). I can't even begin to take in how they were treated. Everybody knows about the history of slavery in America, but the same disgusting practices and attitudes were still happening in twentieth century Australia, thanks to men like A O Neville.
Thank you to Sally Morgan, her mother Gladys and grandmother Daisy, for sharing their stories. Definitely recommended.
I read this as a challenge to fulfill the category related to aboriginal people. Others had recommended this book. I was hopeful since it was a culture I knew very little about.
The book focuses on one family as they retrace their history. A girl begins talking about her seemingly normal life until she reaches her teens. She confronts her aboriginal background and begs her mother & grandmother for details.
Getting to the details was rather delayed. Conversations were included that were not significant. The editing could have been much better. The book took too long in reaching its point & I would not recommend it.
This has been one of my favorite books as I "read my way around the world," and this is one of the best autobiographies I've ever read. The book gave a good feel for Australian culture in general. It touched on growing up, family secrets, Australian history, Aboriginal culture, race issues, even war and mental health. It was a page-turner for me. I found myself picking up the book during breakfast, work breaks, even staying up late at night to read the next couple of chapters. The writing slogged a bit during the stories of her grandmother and her great uncle, but nothing you can't get through, and I learned a lot. This was a very enjoyable book, and I can easily see how it claims the descriptor as "An Australian Classic." I'll be donating my paperback to the public library and buying a hardcover copy to read again in the future.
Realized there is a lot I need to learn about Australian Aboriginal history.
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Wikipedia en anglès (2)
In 1982, Sally Morgan travelled back to her grandmother's birthplace. What started as a tentative search for information about her family, turned into an overwhelming emotional and spiritual pilgrimage. My Place is a moving account of a search for truth into which a whole family is gradually drawn, finally freeing the tongues of the author's mother and grandmother, allowing them to tell their own stories.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)994.0049915History and Geography Oceania and elsewhere Australia
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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Una edició d'aquest llibre ha estat publicada per Penguin Australia.