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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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Sally Morgan was born in Perth, in 1951. She has published books for both adults and children, including her acclaimed autobiography, My Place. She has also established a national reputation as an artist and has works in many private and public collections.Review:
This is a story of extended family, the treatment of Aboriginals, and history lost and found. Nan, the author's grandmother, wants to "forget" about her heritage. She teaches her grandchildren about birds and bullfrogs to make sure they know nature's side of life and instills in them a certain distrust of white people, but she won't talk about her past. Late in his life, great-Uncle Arthur is eager to tell of his past, the fair and the unfair, even though it makes his sister Nan angry, for his stories bring forth painful memories she buried long ago. Gladys, the author's optimistic mother, has allowed her past to fade from her consciousness: with a sick husband and four children she has plenty of other things on her mind. And finally there is the author, Sally Morgan, who was told her family was from India and didn't realize for years that they were Aboriginal Australians. Although the autobiography centers upon the author's early life, it is the stories of her mother, great-uncle, and especially her grandmother that make this a moving book. When Sally Morgan's mother and grandmother allow themselves to remember their pasts, they affirm the power of the mind and the spirit. My Place demands that we respect what people want and are able to remember: some secrets stay buried. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Holly Smith
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