Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Place: An Australian Classic” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
My Place: An Australia...
 
by
Sally Morgan
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Place: An Australian Classic

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  3,772 Ratings  ·  169 Reviews
"Morgan is 15 when she discovers that she is not white but aborigine - a fact that has been kept secret because of society's stigma. Rather than tell the children about their heritage, her mother and grandmother have let them believe early ancestors emigrated to Australia from India. The teen-aged Morgan, having been an indifferent student at best, throws herself into her ...more
Published (first published January 1st 1987)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Place, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Lynda No, the children's show is based off Nadia Wheatley's beautiful children's book, also called "My Place".
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Michelle
Mar 01, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, living-books
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.
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
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
...more
Clare Bear
Oct 16, 2008 Clare Bear rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kathryn
This wasn’t part of my school’s curriculum when I was going through, and I believe that nowadays it is often one of the required reads for students. I think this is a great idea - it opens communication about a range of issues, but particularly what it was like to grow up as an indigenous Australian in the 1920s and 1930s, and also what it is like to grow up not knowing your family history.

Sally tells this as her story, but also incorporates her great-uncle’s, grandmother’s, and mother's stories
...more
Alliyah
Jan 26, 2016 Alliyah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I knew next to nothing about aboriginal history before reading this for my postcolonial module, and now I want to read all I can on the topic. This is an incredibly moving memoir, and it made me laugh as many times as it made me cry. It's not the most perfectly written book, but it's beautiful nonetheless.
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
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
May 05, 2010 Jackie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-read
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
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
May 06, 2009 Talya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 05, 2012 Dr Miriam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nigie
Dec 30, 2015 Nigie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's thirty years since this notedly seminal memoir was published and it had never properly taken my interest, with me a lazy pursuer of even desired reading at the best of times. I thought the title was boring. But recently in my peripheral consciousness a rave about it had come up, like background radio, I don't remember the moment. Then one day I when was falling through the front window of my schizophrenic friend Jimmy Chi's house as I broke in so he could re-graffiti the walls his sisters h ...more
Mikaela
Feb 24, 2017 Mikaela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Joanna
Dec 20, 2010 Joanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
CandyBeans
Apr 15, 2015 CandyBeans rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015hfu
If this book had been just the transcribed tales of Morgan's family, I would have given it 5 stars in a heartbeat. The untold history of Aborigines is too important to let disappear, and the life stories of Morgan's mother, grandmother, and great uncle were interesting to read.

However, Morgan's writing left too much to be desired. I wanted so badly to like this book, but the style was so bland and meandering. The collection of stories growing up seemed pointless. There were some that hinted at t
...more
Becky
Jan 12, 2011 Becky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Danielle Hircock
I found this story very interesting, engaging and at times, humorous. I particularly enjoyed reading about the writer's childhood in the early part of the book. I found the narrative flow very good at this part in the book.

It would have been a challenge to write this family story from the perspectives of Nan, Gladdie, Sally and Uncle Arthur. This strategy brings further understanding to the family's inter-generational journey.

This is the first book completed of my 12 book challenge, and being s
...more
Rachel
Sep 08, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joy C.
Just finished this book tonight, and it was just so powerful and sad and heartbreaking. Definitely opened my eyes to some of the heartbreaking sufferings endured by the native Aboriginal peoples of Australia, and the struggles of living in a prejudiced world. But it inspired me, and made me love them and grieve for them even more than before.

This book also surprised me with how beautifully it was written as well. Definitely recommend.
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.
Diane
Sep 08, 2010 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Leigh
Oct 27, 2008 Leigh rated it really liked it  ·  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.
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 really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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).
Rachel
Jul 21, 2011 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
500 Great Books B...: My Place - Sally Morgan 1 6 Jul 18, 2014 04:27PM  
Racism and bigotry 1 15 Jan 26, 2008 05:36PM  
  • Don't Take Your Love to Town
  • A Fortunate Life
  • My Brilliant Career
  • Am I Black Enough For You?
  • The Harp in the South
  • I Can Jump Puddles
  • We of the Never Never
  • My Brother Jack
  • The Shark Net
  • Carpentaria
  • For the Term of His Natural Life
  • Fortunes of Richard Mahony
  • Storm Boy
  • The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith
  • Benang: From the Heart
  • Unpolished Gem
  • Rabbit-Proof Fence
  • Monkey Grip
40262
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
More about Sally Morgan...

Share This Book



“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.” 1 likes
More quotes…