what the little bird didn't tell me

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Abstract

Nearly twenty years ago I published a book that documented a journey
I had been on for over a decade. The book was A Little Bird Told Me:
Family Secrets, Necessary Lives. This monograph represented a journey
of discovery where I located my Aboriginal ancestors and answered a
number of questions that had dogged my family for generations. Along
the way, I discovered a story of secrets and lies, of madness, and refuge. In
this talk, I will reflect on this book nearly twenty years later, with a focus
on the importance of women as the keepers and tellers of family stories.
In so doing I will consider the reasons why I wrote the book, what impact
it had at the time and its ongoing influence. I hope that these reflections
may have something to say to other family historians, and I want to put the
case for family history being considered capital ‘H’ History too. Finally, I
want to question the view that there are some family secrets and necessary
lies that should never be revealed and told.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-15
Number of pages11
JournalVictorian Historical Journal
Volume91
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

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