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My Place

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  2,926 ratings  ·  129 reviews
This is a historical document which should be on every black studies and women's studies course in Australia and round the world. It is also a book of a novel and the complexity and pace of a mystery not solved until the final pages.
Paperback, 360 pages
Published September 28th 1993 by Little Brown and Company (first published October 21st 1982)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa
My Place, by Sally Morgan is now an Australian Classic, but it wasn’t when I first read it back in 1988, Australia’s bicentennial year. Like many Australians, I was shocked to read this deeply moving memoir which revealed without bitterness or rancour a chastening story of endemic racism in our country. I had thought I was an educated person and this book made me realise to my dismay that I knew nothing about the Aboriginal heritage that underpins Australian identity. When I saw My Place as an a ...more
Becky
3.5 Stars--
I honestly have to say that I probably never would have picked up this book if it wasn't sent to me by a friend. Mostly because I never knew it existed, but that's beside the point, hehe. I'm not really a memoir reader, but I am trying to read more non-fiction this year, so this blended perfectly with this goal.

My Place tells the story of how Sally Morgan discovered who she is. In a way, it was a very touching story, and I'm glad that I read it. I've never really given much thought
...more
Michelle
I don’t know how anyone could read this and not have their heart broken for the black fellas (or Aborigines) and those who’ve fought in wars.
In many ways it was quite a tragedy, and as the story continued, I had a lump in my throat , because it actually happened.
Just read it – that’s all I can say. You won’t be sorry when you do.
Thank you Sally, for opening my eyes a little wider.
Peyton
This book really touched me. I first became aware of the situation of the Aboriginal peoples in Australia when I was working for Blackwell North America during the early 1980s. We provided books to several Australian academic libraries, and they seemed to order everything on North American Indians. One of the other Blackwellians, who had visited Australia several times on business, told me how bleak life was for the Aboriginals, and that many Australians were trying to figure out how to improve ...more
Liz
I found this book incredibly sad to read. The information was nothing new, I am all too familiar with the issues and treatment of Indigenous Australians. Nan was right, don't ever trust doctors, the Government or wealthy people.....very wise.

We like to feel Australia has made huge leaps in the treatment and handling of Indigenous people but it's not true. It's what we say to ourselves so we don't feel too bad about the blackfellas rotting away in the middle of outback Australia, out of sight out
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Clare Bear
I haven't finished this book but I give a full five stars. It is written in an honest, uncompromising Australian vernacular without seeming to be a caricature of Australians or the way some speak. I read this and Sally Morgan has made me crack up and weep and wish I knew way more about our indigenous history and languages. I am only 31 but I do not remember being taught anything remotely like what I have learnt from this book. My history department was too busy teaching us about the glorified Ca ...more
Sara
"Che perdita avremmo subito se avessimo lasciato le cose come stavano. Saremmo sopravvissuti, ma non come un unico popolo. Non avremmo mai conosciuto il nostro luogo."

In questa biografia dal titolo originale My place, Sally Morgan ricostruisce la storia della propria famiglia a partire dalla scoperta della propria discendenza da una tribù di nativi aborigeni.

Nel suo percorso alla ricerca della verità (inizialmente ostacolato dalla madre e dalla nonna stesse), Sally riprende la tradizione abori
...more
Julia
I grew up in Washington State, the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and in our history classes we studied Colonial America and Africa. Therefore, I only had the information my mother gave me about Aboriginal suffering.
You can be sure that upon my arrival into an Australian history class I was blown away by how much I absolutely did not know about Aboriginal oppression in Australia. My history teacher made quick work of introducing us to the racist discrimination that "white Australia" emp
...more
Jackie
Another book I’m glad I picked up thanks to a fellow Viner. This is a non-fiction account of the life of Aboriginal professor, artist and author Sally Morgan. The book goes through her memories of childhood dealing with her sometimes abusive father, the struggles of her mother and grandmother trying to provide for Sally and her siblings, and her discovery of her Aboriginal culture.

Prior to this book I had no idea of the Aboriginal culture or Austrialia’s history for that matter. This was a good
...more
Emmeline
I read this book in year 11 for Literature. It is a 440-page tome, but the extent of our analysis was: “So this is a memoir. How much of memoir is true and why does it matter?” I was a bit disappointed. Why did I do all that reading to ask such a basic question?

There’s obviously a lot more to get from this book, and re-reading it eight years later I appreciate its richness. Morgan starts off with a chronological story of her childhood and growing up, right through to getting married, having kid
...more
Whydidiwastemytime
This book makes me weep for the future of Australian Authors. I feel obliged to tell everyone that not only did the book cover make me cringe, but i had to go to counselling because the storyline was that terrible. For months i could not function without crying every moment at the meer thought of how badly written this 'autobiography' was. This book should be rated W for Waste of time. Never again will I read the likes of Sally Morgan. I understand it would have taken strength to write an extens ...more
Talya
I am so glad this book was picked for this month's book club. I knew nothing about the history of the way the Aborigines were treated in Australia. I found many comparisons to the way the Blacks and the Native Americans were treated in America. I would have preferred the book to have been separated into different books with her autobiography as one book and how she came to know of her roots and another book with her family members' biographies in another book. I am now curious to find out how th ...more
Dr Miriam
One of my very favorite books of all time...its like an old friend I keep revisiting. An honest and illuminating look at some of the issues growing up aboriginal in Australia both in the 1970's and now. While much has changed, much remains the same. Clearly and simply written Morgan's words form a rhythm of their own in the telling of her story...beautifully done and well worth the read.
Lauren
Dreaded finishing this, as I knew I'd bawl my eyes out. But then I've lost count the amount of times I teared up during the rest of the book, so really, it wasn't going to be a huge change of pace, haha.
I had to whip through this book because I need it for an assignment, but I don't think that sense of urgency ruined the reading experience. If anything it made it feel all the more remarkable how attached I was to Sally Morgan's family by the end. It seems almost effortless the way she drew you i
...more
Joanna
When Sally finally realizes that she is not of Indian descent but of Aboriginal heritage, she decides to embark on a journey to uncover her grandmother's past and ultimately the story of her own people. However, it becomes a challenge for her grandmother and mother to open up as all their lives they have been taught that being Aboriginal "was something to be ashamed of" and therefore should not be talked about openly. The book is moving, gripping, and though you want more, you are satisfied with ...more
Becky
Read this for my book club, and we are discussing it next week. I really really wanted to like this autobiography about a half white, half aboriginal woman and her family in Australia. I wanted to find the issues between black and white people engaging and enlightening, but I couldn't get past the writing style. Much of the book is written as dialogue which just feels forced. The parts where she just tells stories were much better. So, eh, it was okay, some good points, but overall not what I wa ...more
Rachel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Victoria
I found this a fascinating story, engagingly told. The book, which tells the story of how the writer, Sally grew up in Perth, Western Australia after WWII. It tells the story of her mother and grandmother too, and is structured as a mystery which is gradually uncovered by the author, rather than a chronological history. It is all the more readable as a result.

I can't remember now how I came across this book, but I vaguely remembered that there was some controversy about it, so having read it, I
...more
Cinzia Laviano
"Ed è molto quello che i bianchi non capiscono. Vogliono che ci assimiliamo ai bianchi, ma noi non lo vogliamo. Quegli aborigeni nel deserto non vogliono mica vivere come i bianchi, e possedere questo e quello. Vogliono semplicemente vivere la loro vita in libertà, non hanno bisogno d'acqua nel Gibson Desert, intonano un canto della pioggia, e di pioggia ci riempono quanti posti vogliono. Se fa freddo, possono far venire il caldo come vento. Non devono darsi troppo da fare per cacciare, gli spir ...more
Angelique
A really moving tale - funny, heart-warming, inspiring. It's about family: At the center of the book there are three generations of very strong women. The characters were so vivid, you get the feeling of knowing them by the end of the book. It's wonderful and very sad.
A lot of episodes reminded me of American slave narratives, but this book clearly had more truth in it than many of those exaggerated accounts. Truth - and a touch of magic.
Mahjong_kid
I read this book in just over two days. When did I last race through 400 pages that quickly? In spite of the tragedy that lurks behind many of Morgan's stories, I laughed out loud SO many times during the first 1/3 of the book. Some people are gifted with the ability to laugh at life, and Morgan and her mother are decidedly among them. I had to remind myself throughout that this was a story about true events, not a work of fiction.

The stories she told about discovering her ancestry and learning
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Diane
This was such an eye-opener for me when I first read it many years ago. Sally's search to find her family history is well written and without pretension. It is a captivating read and unearths some of the devastating consequences of the Stolen Children era in Australia. Sally's story brings into focus that this legalised splitting up of families happened as recent as the early 1970s. It is NOT ancient history.
Wendy Orr
This book, a memoir of growing up in 1950's Australia and not discovering her Aboriginal heritage until she was an adult, horrified and moved me when I read it soon after its release. It was just as powerful on rereading as Sally Morgan takes us into her life and family and allows us to live through her discoveries with her. An important book that should be on every Australian secondary school reading list.
Dell Macneil
Aug 18, 2007 Dell Macneil rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people interested in indigenous Australian experiences
Some years ago I read this absorbing autobiography by an urban, well-educated indigenous Australian, who engagingly portrays her emerging awareness and exploration of her Aboriginal heritage. Published originally by the Western Australian Freemantle Arts Centre Press, it was immediately popular with readers - reprinted three times in 1987, four times in 1988, and three times in 1989 (the year of my edition).
Leigh
Nov 28, 2008 Leigh rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Leigh by: The lonley planet travel guide
I really enjoyed this book. It was slow at times but a very interesting read. I wasn't aware how horribly the aborigines (spelling) were treated. It is horriable that mankind (womankind) can treat each other that way. Also I read it while I was in Western Aus so I traveled through many area of the book they talked about. Highly reccomend it if you are traveling to Australia or interested in Aboriginy culture.
Chel Hartrick
ANZLL discussion May 2002
PMQ library
Re-read - Sally's discovery of her family heritage. I would recommend this book particularly to young adults to gain an understanding of aboriginals trying to integrate to western life and the hardships contained there-in.

This book did not have the same impact as my first read in 1989. Good story, but the style of writing seemed over-simplified.
Johnpaul Lecedre
Great book. As an American who didn't get too much Australian history growing up, I found it informative, easy to follow, and entertaining/touching. It reads like a novel/autobiography/history and transitions between all three genre's with amazing seamlessness. I would absolutely recommend to anyone who is into cultural history and biographies. I love it.
Sarah
Cultural stories - especially ones involving indigenous people of any sort - have always spoken to me. This autobiography is especially interesting since the author really had no idea, growing up, that she was part Aboriginal Australian. There's some mystery in here too, since the reader doesn't exactly learn this secret straight away. A very good read.
Aina
Sally Morgan's My Place is a marvelous deeply moving account of a search for truth, into which a whole family is gradually drawn. Sally was born in 1950s and her mother, Gladdie, and grandmother, Daisy, never told her she was Aboriginal until she found out being well into her twenties. Seeing how badly Aboriginal people were treated Gladdie and Daisy felt it was better for the young ones to not know their heritage and avoid the suffering that comes with it. Sally's curious nature and stubborn ch ...more
Rachel
wow. I found this on the used book shelves ... or perhaps it found me. Truly and utterly amazing. A glimpse into the life I did not even know enough about to imagine... she is also an artist and her writing is dense and colorful. I loved it. And had dreams about Sally and her family for many nights.
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500 Great Books B...: My Place - Sally Morgan 1 4 Jul 18, 2014 04:27PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Sally Morgan is recognised as one of Australia's best known Aboriginal artists and writers. She is one of a number of successful urban Aboriginal artists.

Sally was born in Perth in 1951, the eldest of five children. As a child she found school difficult because of questions
...more
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“Let me pass this way but once and do what good I can, I shall not pass this way again.” 3 likes
“I came to the realisation that it was impossible to change my environment. I decided to try and change myself instead.” 2 likes
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