Witnessing

by
December 2007–January 2008, no. 297
Buy this book

This Crazy Thing a Life: Australian Jewish biography by Richard Freadman

UWA Press, $39.95 pb, 319 pp

Witnessing

by
December 2007–January 2008, no. 297

In one of the most haunting phrases contained in Inside Outside (1992), the Australian Jewish autobiographer Andrew Riemer comments on the persistent sense of loss that still shapes him, many years after his entry to Australia as a child immigrant. He writes, ‘exile seals your eyes, allowing you to see only what your longings and your sense of loss will permit’. Earlier, Riemer reflects on his longing for a vanished world, ‘a country of the mind, fashioned from powerful longings and fantasies’. With the undercutting of his own position, so characteristic of his writing, he writes: ‘Perhaps I am merely describing the human condition. I have come to learn that this sense of displacement, of not belonging ... is shared by many …’ And yet, he adds, the experience of migration ‘brings that predicament into sharper focus than might otherwise be the case’.

Susan Tridgell reviews 'This Crazy Thing a Life: Australian Jewish autobiography' by Richard Freadman

This Crazy Thing a Life: Australian Jewish biography

by Richard Freadman

UWA Press, $39.95 pb, 319 pp

Buy this book

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