Book Review of "Childhood: A Memoir" by Shannon Burns. Melbourne, Australia,Text Publishing, 2022. ISBN: 9781922330789

Bradshaw, Wayne (2023) Book Review of "Childhood: A Memoir" by Shannon Burns. Melbourne, Australia,Text Publishing, 2022. ISBN: 9781922330789. Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, 23 (1).

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Abstract

[Extract] Upon reading Shannon Burns’s memoir, Childhood, I was immediately struck by the uncomfortable sensation that with this book Burns is breaking one of the unspoken mores of working-class academia—that people who have successfully insinuated themselves into the university system should avoid talking openly about the peculiarities of their upbringing. Academics from disadvantaged backgrounds should keep to the generalities at least, so as not to expose the social and intellectual shortcomings of youth. Even in the supposedly egalitarian halls of the modern Australian university, class remains a complicated web of performance and deceit, and Burns observes that it is often working-class colleagues who are most “dismayed to learn that I had a rougher beginning than them” (12). When the aim of the exercise is to blend in with the children of doctors, solicitors and professors, declaring that you are the son of a sex worker and pot dealer who worked in a recycling facility is at once showing off and giving the game away.

Item ID: 79573
Item Type: Article (Book Review)
ISSN: 1833-6027
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Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2023 23:33
FoR Codes: 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4705 Literary studies > 470502 Australian literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1302 Communication > 130203 Literature @ 100%
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