When an author gets the balance between memoir and journalism* just right, it makes for brilliant reading. Kate Rossmanith has done it with Small Wrongs, a book that explores how we say ‘sorry’.
Rossmanith looks at what constitutes remorse from many angles – the ‘theatre’ of courtroom appearances; how judges make their decisions; prison, parole and rehabilitation and how these systems create opportunities for offenders to show remorse; and retribution for victims of crime.
In the justice system…the act of forgiveness was unrelated to the duty of punishment; it was not the role of the courts to forgive a person…only the victims can forgive.Continue reading →
Two things to get off my chest about Elspeth Muir’s memoir, Wasted –
This is an extremely important book that examines the impact of alcohol on a family and, in doing so, highlights the fact that drinking to excess is normalised in Australian culture.
In my opinion, this book was robbed – it really should have made the 2017 Stella Prize shortlist.
In 2009, Muir’s 21-year-old brother, Alexander, finished his last university exam, celebrated with friends, and then jumped 30 metres from the Story Bridge into the Brisbane River below. His body was found three days later, with a blood-alcohol reading of 0.25. This tragic event provides a starting point for Muir to explore her grief; her own drinking habits; and Australia’s drinking culture. Continue reading →