A stunning read!
Started at 6 o’clock and only put it down at 8 to put the potatoes on. Totally engaged in the extended families, their struggles and humour. Can’t wait to get back to it.
In a memoir spanning a century of family life, Judith White reflects on the pain inflicted on lives in Britain and Australia by an empire built on coal.
Born in the North of England, cradle of the Industrial Revolution, she rekindles childhood memories to tell the stories of the remarkable women and men who struggled through two world wars and the Depression.
Fleeing Britain in the Thatcher years she learned, from the First Nations people and the writers and artists of Australia, what a university education had never taught her about the devastating impact of colonisation.
Children of Coal adds a singular voice to the rising chorus calling for the public reckoning with history that is needed to free society from the shackles of the empire of the mind.
“Judith White writes with great affection, understanding and humour about her upbringing in the north of England and the heritage which did so much to shape her character and her direction in life. A book alive with people you would like to have known.” – Sandra Hall, film critic
The book is self published but it is available through Amazon.
Image: Coal pit at Acland. New Hope mine near Oakey on the Darling Downs Photo: Ian Curr
|Dear friends and readers,|
About to be published – my memoir of growing up in the North of England when it still ran on coal, and of the remarkable people I come from: Working-class grandmothers who struggled, with grim Northern humour, through two world wars and the Depression. A great-aunt who became housekeeper to royalty. A mother who clawed her way out of poverty to Oxford and a new life, only to have it snatched from her by war. An uncle who survived the Thai-Burma railway, another who came home an alcoholic, a hero of the French Resistance. An aunt who travelled the world on oil tankers. A father committed to science and civil rights.
Children of Coal is also the story of a life in left-wing politics: of skirmishes with British intelligence, and the class warfare that came to a head when the Thatcher government set out to crush the coal miners’ union. After
their defeat I came away to Australia, where coal still divides a nation. Here I learned from First Nations peoples, writers and artists, what a university education had never taught me about the devastating impact of colonialism. I came to see the pain inflicted on lives on both sides of the world by an empire built on coal, and to understand the need for the truth about our shared history.
“Insightful and gutsy truth telling.” – Professor Stuart Rees, Sydney Peace Prize founder
“A book alive with people you would like to have known.” – Sandra Hall, film critic
Published 3 September by Tablo in paperback and e-book, 273 pages, $25/$8.99 rrp
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