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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In this extraordinary book, Meera Atkinson explores the ways trauma reverberates over a lifetime, unearthing the traumatic roots of our social structures and our collective history.

Using memoir as a touchstone, Atkinson contemplates the causes of trauma and the scars it leaves on modern society. She vibrantly captures her early life in 1970s and ’80s Sydney and her self-re
Paperback, 296 pages
Published April 30th 2018 by University of Queensland Press
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  75 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Cass Moriarty
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Traumata (UQP 2018) is an important work of non-fiction that traverses the notion of trauma from every angle – physical, psychological, emotional, historical, intergenerational and inherited. Author Meera Atkinson delves deep into her own personal story and the legacy that trauma has left on her life, and places this into the wider context of societal wounds such as family violence, addiction and child abuse. She connects and views these themes through investigating philosophy, feminism, neurosc ...more
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not sure if I will be able to come back and write a full review in near future, so just a very quick update upon completion...

Meera Atkinson's book is written with incredible self-honesty, skilfully weaving her personal history with insightful contemplations on it. Those contemplations are both supported and informed by research and writings of relevant work, which she generously refers to throughout. As a result Traumata does not fit into any neat categorisations, but for me that was a plus as
Christina Houen
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Traumata, by Meera Atkinson (UQP, 2018), is an informed and passionate critique of patriarchy, woven into a braided narrative, where the author’s life story is the weft woven through the warp (the formative structure) of patriarchal society in all its forms and deformities. Atkinson’s weaving of her life story with theory is powerful, for every experience and incident she relates is material for illuminating the traumatising influence of patriarchy; hence the plural title. Her self-exposure is s ...more
Michael Livingston
Sep 12, 2018 rated it liked it
A curious mix of memoir and research, unpacking the marks that trauma (and patriarchy) leave on people's lives. ...more
Sam Van
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
In TRAUMATA, Atkinson has landed the difficult trick of pulling together the personal and research materials in such a way that readers can't help but reconsider their own experience. This book is generous and unafraid to look at difficult topics, with thorough research and beautiful prose to back it up. Thanks for your insight and sharing your journey, Meera. ...more
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you ever need to know how my brain is, or why it is the way it is, you should read this book. It's amazing. ...more
Sarah Park
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
* takes you on a rip roaring roller coaster ride
* keeps you page turning way beyond bed time
* ignites every feeling you never knew you had
* educates the heck out of you
* makes you want to share and buy it for all your friends and family
* gifts you with a woman's true, raw story laid bare
I have wanted to read a book like this all my life. Meera Atkinson correlates educational info that perfectly pairs and relates to her own haunting, juicy, fascinating life along with photos that clearly demonstr
Jodie Miller
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
An ambitious, circular narrative that embraces research and historical context along the way. A book for the brave who want (or need) to explore their traumatic experiences outside of themselves in an academic and sociological context. I can't say it was an easy read, but it was certainly worthy. Perhaps if more people interrogated their own family legacy, we'd have less violence and more tolerance in the world. ...more
Elizabeth Sutherland
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book months ago, but was reluctant to begin it. Narratives of complex trauma are challenging but seductive and I wanted to give this one time. In the end, I didn’t need time as such - I devoured this in two days and about three long sittings. The mix of memoir and confessional writing with theory and philosophy is compelling here, and generally beautifully balanced.

This is brave writing - not because of the intimacies of memoir (although she is frank about tough subjects and her o
Emory Black
This book was amazing. Meera weaves together personal stories with evidence, questions and theories. She brings together experiences from others, and shows how patriarchy, toxic masculinity, environmental destruction, and more all have profound impacts on many of us. She helped me to really understand CPTSD much better, as well as explained things like anxiety, substance abuse, memory gaps, past-as-present and more. I know someone who has DiD so would have welcomed a bit more about that being me ...more
Powerful combination of memoir and social commentary. Atkinson relates very personal events and emotions from her life to the context of the time and place. She has read widely and understood deeply the intersections of trauma, sexual abuse, addiction, systemic racism, patriarchy, capitalism, colonisation, human supremacy, and other destructive systems and beliefs.

It was fascinating for me to read a psychological/socio-political memoir by an Australian woman my age, with some very similar and s
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
At the moment I'm not into books that have no chapters and are one endless screed. ...more
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A compulsive read about complex PTSD and inter-generational legacies.
Giovanna Walker
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
Oh how I tried. Firstly I acknowledge the courage and conviction of the author to share her story honestly. She also has utilised some great resources (and cited them) which I will look up. It was good to read something in this genre in an Australian context. However. It rambled. It jumped around. It was repetitive (if I heard patriarchy one more time). I tried SO hard to read it all, but gave up at page 200. There is some great information in there - but it was just SO hard to find. A bit like ...more
Giulia Mastrantoni
I found it really boring. It's repetitive, clinical (almost a textbook) and it was of no interest at all for me. This being said, maybe someone who is interested in childhood trauma can find it interesting, but honestly... I'd just go with textbooks and articles, if childhood trauma is what you are interested in. ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Despite the promise of a good read, I found myself not able to commit to this book.
Maybe a great read for someone else, but not me.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Ultimately dissapointing, this book doesn't know if it's a memoir, historical, philosophy or self help. Two stars for the bits and snippets that were of actual interest. ...more
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Can we recover from the wounds of patriachy? 1 3 Jun 20, 2018 04:04AM  

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