Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 358 pp, $15.00, 0 949206 24 5
Reading My Place by Sally Morgan reminds one of how powerful a book can be when there is an urgent story to be told. This book, let me say at the outset, is wonderful.
Sally Morgan and her four brothers and sisters grew up in Perth in the 1950s and 1960s. They are part Aboriginal, but didn’t know it then. They knew they were darker, different, perhaps they were Greek; their mother and grandmother told them they were Indian and this answer satisfied the kids at school, and them for a time. When she was about fifteen Sally suddenly woke up, though her more worldly younger sister, Jill, had known for a while. Her grandmother, Nan, who lived with them, was black; they were Boongs, Abos, Aborigines. ‘“You know Jill,” I said after a while, “if we are Boongs, and I don’t know if we are or not, there’s nothing we can do about it, so we might as well just accept it.’’’