My Place

Fremantle Press
3
Free Sample

Looking at the views and experiences of three generations of indigenous Australians, this autobiography unearths political and societal issues contained within Australia's indigenous culture. Sally Morgan traveled to her grandmother’s birthplace, starting a search for information about her family. She uncovers that she is not white but aborigine—information that was kept a secret because of the stigma of society. This moving account is a classic of Australian literature that finally frees the tongues of the author’s mother and grandmother, allowing them to tell their own stories.
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About the author

Sally Morgan is the director for the Centre for Indigenous History at the University of Western Australia as well as an artist whose works are in numerous private and public collections in the United States and Australia. She is the author of Dan’s Grandpa, My Place for Younger Readers: Arthur Corunna’s Story, My Place for Younger Readers: Mother and Daughter, Speaking from the Heart, and the award-winning Heartsick for Country.
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Additional information

Publisher
Fremantle Press
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Published on
Jul 1, 2014
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Pages
358
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ISBN
9781921696268
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Cultural Heritage
Biography & Autobiography / Women
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Content protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Faith Bandler is one of Australia's best-loved and most widely respected citizens.

This is the story of Faith's extraordinary life, her journey from a childhood nurtured in a South Sea Islander community in northern New South Wales to national recognition as one of Australia's leading human rights activists.

Drawing on Faith's own vivid recollections, as well as extensive research in the archives, Marilyn Lake tells a lively story which captures the warmth of the woman - her sharp intelligence, her generosity, her calm, her stamina, her eloquence and her ability to have 'a bloody good time'. It brings alive the experience of the 1930s Depression, life in cosmopolitan Kings Cross in the 1940s and the intensity of political commitment in the 1960s and 1970s.

As a leader of campaigns for Aboriginal rights and against racial discrimination, Faith Bandler emerged as an unlikely but compelling public figure - a politically effective woman in a public culture dominated by men, a politician outside Parliament and a Black leader in a nation dedicated for most of her life to the ideal of White Australia. The success of the 1967 referendum on Aboriginal citizenship was a tribute to her leadership and influence - to this day, of more than 40 attempts to change the Constitution by referendum, only eight have succeeded.

Eloquent and elegant, Faith Bandler became that rare phenomenon in Australia: a charismatic public person. Her exemplary courage in fighting for an end to racism and her capacity for moral leadership have never been more relevant.
With a sudden jerk, squealing of brakes and a loud puff of the steam engine, the train shunted forward ... I stared out the window as we slowly pulled out of the station. I was very confused. I saw the women standing on the platform watching us and wailing. Then I saw her. There was my mum in her only good blue dress standing next to my aunts and our old grandmother. Just standing there. Standing there with tears rolling down their cheeks too fast to even wipe away. Then Mum waved a white hanky and I pressed my face against the window pane as hard as I could, watching her. Watching until her blue dress faded into a tiny blue daub of colour...'At the age of five, Donna was taken away from her natural family and sent to a foster family in Newcastle. Donna reflects back on her childhood memories of living in the bush with her brothers and her removal to the city, becoming an only child in a white family. Donna recalls her struggle with her identity - remembering traditions and customs of her old life in the outback and the adjustments she has had to make in strange city. Donna (aged 40) retells her life story with stark simplicity and honesty . She openly discusses the pain and isolation she has felt at not belonging or feeling at home with the society she has been brought up in. Her desperation took her close to suicide. This is a powerfully sad yet also uplifting story - sad because of Donna's long struggle to re-establish her family and culture and coming to terms with her own views about Aboriginal people; and uplifting because of Donna's deep faith, her own strong family ties with her foster mother and her husband and sons. Donna's story is retold with passion but with an absence of bitterness as she tells of the strangeness, and heartbreak of her experiences, and of the kindness of her adoptive family.
Shortlisted for the 2019 Wellcome Book Prize

Winner, The 2018 Victorian Prize for Literature, and the Prize for Non-Fiction

Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife...

But as a little boy, raised in violence and excluded from the family home, she just wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less.

A woman who sleeps among garbage she has not put out for forty years. A man who bled quietly to death in his loungeroom. A woman who lives with rats, random debris and terrified delusion. The still life of a home vacated by accidental overdose.

Sarah Krasnostein has watched the extraordinary Sandra Pankhurst bring order and care to these, the living and the dead—and the book she has written is equally extraordinary. Not just the compelling story of a fascinating life among lives of desperation, but an affirmation that, as isolated as we may feel, we are all in this together.

Sarah Krasnostein is a writer and a legal researcher with a doctorate in criminal law. She was born in America, studied in Melbourne and has lived and worked in both countries. Her first book, The Trauma Cleaner, won the Victorian Prize for Literature and the Prize for Non-Fiction in the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards as well as the Australian Book Industry Award for General Non-Fiction. Sarah lives in Melbourne and spends part of the year working in New York City.

‘Amazing...I couldn’t put this book down, and I can’t wait to recommend it to everyone I know.’ Readings

‘Written with sensitivity, insight and warmth...Krasnostein has pieced together a compelling history through careful research and interviews. The Trauma Cleaner is no ordinary trauma narrative: we see how the infliction of multiple traumas has left this fascinating woman uniquely placed to restore order among the despair of others, and it is with similar care that Krasnostein has produced this book.’ Books + Publishing

‘This is a book which resists the temptation to fill in the gaps. In that sense, it enacts trauma itself. Krasnostein doesn’t try and insist that all the details of these complex lives add up – she merely describes them vividly, lovingly and respectfully to make a single statement: this is a life.’ Judges’ Report, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, 2018

‘A book that is as hard to read as it is hard to put down. A story of pain and loss and loneliness, of trauma and transformations and sassy humour. And cleaning...It is a hilarious and poignant tale of a woman who defies all labels...Krasnostein is a very fine writer. Her debut book is a compelling and honest story of human survival, and love.’ Janet Albrechtsen, Australian

‘An extraordinary life story superbly retold.’ Tim Gott, Devonport Bookshop

‘It’s a truly remarkable story.’ Joan Mackenzie, Whitcoulls

‘The most original non-fiction book of the year...Written with warmth, humour and sensitivity, The Trauma Cleaner is utterly fascinating.’ Page & Blackmore Booksellers

‘Krasnostein’s playful yet heartfelt debut is one of the most arresting works of biography you will read in a long time.’ Guardian

‘Krasnostein is an astute observer of human nature and her understated yet elegant prose is reminiscent of Helen Garner.’ Readings

’Krasnostein has done a clean-up of her own, untangling the narrative behind Pankhurst’s own cluttered memories...She lets Pankhurst’s courage, humanity and sheer decency shine through. It’s a fascinating read.’ SA Weekend

‘Surely the most original non-fiction book of the year...Written with warmth, humour and sensitivity, The Trauma Cleaner is utterly fascinating.’ Page & Blackmore NZ

‘A wondrous portrait of an inspiring character.’ Saturday Paper

‘[Sandra] is one of the most extraordinary characters you will ever find in a work of non-fiction...The Trauma Cleaner is a disturbing and fascinating read with a heavy, beating heart at its centre...[Krasnostein] shows how a writer can empathise and engage with a subject yet still paint a realistic portrait.’ Australian

‘An anomalous, indelible treasure...Krasnostein allows Sandra’s story room to breathe and expand, to quietly but confidently stake its claim to the reader’s heart.’ Kill Your Darlings

‘[Pankurst’s] story is probably one of the most touching, thoughtful and thought-provoking you will ever read...Sarah Krasnostein tells it with moving compassion, even love.’ New Zealand Herald

‘Krasnostein creates a humane portrait of a woman has somehow found fertile ground in the mess of life. A brutal, heartbreaking and utterly moving story of survival – and a quiet kind of triumph.’ Better Reading

‘An extraordinarily impressive debut, in terms of both quality of writing and treatment of the subject matter...Krasnostein handles her material with respect, grace and compassion.’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘Sarah Krasnostein does a marvellous job of illuminating Sandra Pankhurst the person...it’s the vignettes of Pankhurst’s early life and upbringing in Melbourne, interspersed throughout the book, that make for compelling reading.’Readings Best Non-Fiction 2017

‘Compelling reading...This book reads like an unabashed love letter to Pankhurst with the first-time author, embedded for years in her subject’s life, effusive in her adoration.’ Courier-Mail

‘Compelling, compassionate, questioning and fascinating enough for at least four sequels—the reasons you finishing reading may not be the reasons you started. Stunning.’ Fullers Bookshop

‘A superbly written book about the re-doutbable Sandra Pankhurst and her work as a trauma cleaner...This is the startling life story of Pankhurst, a trans woman with a heart the size of Uluru, written in Krasnostein’s irresistibly warm, frank, intelligent voice as she describes site of sadness and horror that take the reader straight to the dark heart of the human condition.’ Kerryn Goldsworthy, Best Books of 2017, Australian Book Review

‘The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein is hard to describe, but will delight anyone who reads it – it is that good...The stories of the hoarders and Sandra’s compassion when dealing with them that will have you transfixed. Promise.’ InDaily

‘Deep empathy for complex individuals...Explore[s] the best and worst of who we are.’ Graeme Simsion, Sydney Morning Herald’s Year in Reading 2017

‘The remarkable story of super cleaner Sandra Pankhurst who cleans up crimes and squalor with rare compassion and kindness.’ Adelaide Advertiser, Favourite Books of the Year

‘One of the strangest, most fascinating books I’ve read, and a standout of the year. Krasnostein’s command of language is exquisite, and the complexity of Sandra Pankhurst’s life story unfolds seamlessly with the current-day narrative of her unique business and the people she meets with it.’ Feminist Writers Festival, Favourite Reads of 2017

‘The Trauma Cleaner pays tribute to a person who's an absolute life force even among the death and decay and squalor and stench that she works in every day and the crushing difficulties of her own past. And it's a story told more beautifully than you can possibly imagine.’ Radio National, 2017’s Best Summer Reads

‘Deeply moving...The book reads as a love letter from Krasnostein to Sandra...I treasured every word.’ Sofie Laguna, Australian Women’s Weekly

‘Sarah Krasnostein has written the story of her friend Sandra in a respectful way, detailing every reinvention Sandra made in her personal and professional endeavours. Readers will find Sandra’s story emotional, shocking and triumphant. It is the true story of a remarkable and resilient human being.’ Good Reading

‘ [A] one-of-a-kind biography.’ Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review Summer Reading Guide

‘Absolutely stunning.’ Popsugar

‘Through countless encounters with the fetid, the neglected, and the downright tragic, Pankhurst has found meaning and peace, and [author] Krasnostein a singular subject whom she approaches with well-deserved awe.’ Booklist (starred review)

‘A transgender former prostitute cleans up the fetid houses of the psychotic, the hopeless and the murdered. Sounds like some dubious TLC special, but it’s a fascinating bio of Sandra Pankhurst... Revelatory.’ People

'Compelling and fascinating’ Oxygen

‘Pankhurst is an engaging, sympathetic, and fascinating person, and Krasnostein does an excellent job of balancing Pankhurst's personal story with those of her clients.’ LitHub, Crimereads

‘Intriguing...A complex protagonist makes for engaging material.’ Publishers Weekly

‘Within the pages of The Trauma Cleaner Krasnostein has given us an extraordinary gift of humanity, life, and determination while carefully guiding us through the unspeakable conditions in which people find themselves in the face of trauma. Through sublime writing, Sarah Krasnostein expertly renders an unforgettable portrait of Sandra, one of the most compelling people I have ever read. I found myself constantly walking the line between frustration and utter love for this woman and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her and the life she has lived. Krasnostein is a master storyteller of creative non-fiction and I am in awe.’ Sarah Schmidt, author of See What I Have Done

The acclaimed national bestseller - moving, passionate, deeply felt and powerful.

In July 2015, as the debate over Adam Goodes being booed at AFL games raged and got ever more heated and ugly, Stan Grant wrote a short but powerful piece for The Guardian that went viral, not only in Australia but right around the world, shared over 100,000 times on social media. His was a personal, passionate and powerful response to racism in Australia and the sorrow, shame, anger and hardship of being an indigenous man. 'We are the detritus of the brutality of the Australian frontier', he wrote, 'We remained a reminder of what was lost, what was taken, what was destroyed to scaffold the building of this nation's prosperity.'

Stan Grant was lucky enough to find an escape route, making his way through education to become one of our leading journalists. He also spent many years outside Australia, working in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, a time that liberated him and gave him a unique perspective on Australia. This is his very personal meditation on what it means to be Australian, what it means to be indigenous, and what racism really means in this country.

Talking to My Country is that rare and special book that talks to every Australian about their country -- what it is, and what it could be. It is not just about race, or about indigenous people but all of us, our shared identity. Direct, honest and forthright, Stan is talking to us all. He might not have all the answers but he wants us to keep on asking the question: how can we be better?

Winner of the 2016 Walkley Book Award and the 2016 National Trust Heritage Award, and shortlisted for the 2016 NIB Waverley Library Award and the 2016 Queensland Literary Award.

'Grant will be an important voice in shaping this nation' The Saturday paper

'It is a story so essential and salutary to this place that it should be given out free at the ballot box' Sydney Morning Herald

'Grant is a natural storyteller --- at his best when recounting his experiences and observations of Indigenous Australian life with devastating simplicity and acuity. This highly readable book ... has the potential to spark empathy and generate important discussion, and deserves to be read widely.' Bookseller + Publisher

'...an urgent and flowing narrative in a book that should be on the required reading list in every school' The Australian



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