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Shannon Burns' Childhood is a story of disconnection, neglect, violence and poverty

By Brigid Magner, Senior Lecturer in Literary Studies, RMIT University
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Shannon Burns’ memoir Childhood begins with an epigraph from Leo Tolstoy’s book of the same name:

The happy unrecoverable days of childhood! How could I not love, not cherish its memories? They have lifted up and refreshed my soul and served as the source of its finest pleasures.

The South Australian suburban childhood explored in this memoir is far from idyllic. Burns’ early life was one of disconnection, neglect, violence and poverty.


Review:…The Conversation


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