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More Reviews, Good Trove News
A return to base and an excellent outcome for Australia's time machine
There’s a moment in the long night of a 16 hour flight, somewhere over the vast Pacific Ocean, when you start to question all of your choices. Having spent so much of the last ten years between Australia and the US, I have entered this moment many times.
It occurred to me this time around, that as remote and dark and boundless as it feels, there is something truly authentic about the experience. What else should a sane person feel when they are that far from land, from life, from family? It’s hard to find another point on earth where a small group of humans could be so alone. The Sahara desert is 3000 miles from east to west. Melbourne to Los Angeles is 8000 miles. One day the flight will be shorter, and the discomfort will be eased, but something real will be lost.
The US book tour was amazing, with many moments of connection, intimacy, and enlightenment, and sweet reunions with old friends. I’m back in Melbourne now, through the trans-Pacific inflection point, and I am thinking about how to keep talking to people about Ghosts of the Orphanage. One of my goals for the end of 2023 is to schedule talks with interested groups in Australia and the US. If you know anyone in the worlds of health, psychology, psychiatry, history and the law who might be interested, please let me know.
LAW & CRIME REVIEW
What makes Kenneally’s story especially sinister is the way in which she contemporizes it, drawing connections between the archaic atmosphere of catholic orphanages and the more modern institutions of foster care and CPS. Though these newer versions might lack the hyper-religious foundation that made St. Joseph’s into what it was, they still perpetuate the same practice of harming and silencing vulnerable minors.
Read it here.
A DAILY KOS pick of the week
This week's notable nonfiction book releases, and other book news.
Goodreads at its most efficient
Sometimes the short reviews are the best.
Trove Funding Secured
In February I wrote about the threat to Trove.
Trove, which includes historic books, newspapers, maps, images, diaries, letters, music, and other audio, is now at risk. The National Library only has funding for the site until July 2023, and it’s unclear what provisions will be made in the May federal budget.
But the site is a time machine, unique in the world. It offers democratised, easy access to the broad and fine strokes of history to anyone who cares to look: tens of thousands of people, historians, students, lawyers, family historians, journalists, and curious readers, use it every day.
Here’s one of my Trove search results, a clip from the 1946 Newcastle and Maitland Catholic Sentinel, “the official organ of the diocese of Maitland.” I recognise the tone of dogmatic good cheer from other articles about local orphanages all over the world. I don’t know how recently you’ve read Jane Eyre, but I think her sight was a lot more penetrating than the writer of this piece would have it.