Shadowed days : fragments of a Melbourne boyhood by Garry Kinnane
Two nights later our whole life is changed. I am reading a comic in bed, when from way down the hall I hear my mother yell, ‘Frank! Frank!’ There is something in her voice that I have never heard before – not just panic, which is the first thing that strikes me, but a deeper note of fear …
Shortlisted in 2009 Queensland Premiers Literary Awards for non-fiction.
Garry Kinnane’s haunting evocation of his boyhood in Melbourne in the 40s and 50s brings to life a struggling family. Frank and Thelma and their two boys, Garry and Ray, are always on the move – from Richmond to Mount Macedon, to North Melbourne, among the homeless in ‘Larundel’, and finally to an uneasy life in Valentine Street.
Garry Kinnane is the author of George Johnston: A Biography (winner of The Age Book of the Year 1986), and Colin Colahan: A Portrait.
‘In Shadowed Days, Gary Kinnane imaginatively transforms the circumstances of his family’s life – the sadness, hardship, dislocation and confrontation with death – into a compelling narrative… The book glows with humanity, with an understanding and wisdom born of privation and endurance.’ — Tom Petsinis, author of The French Mathematician
‘This is a beautifully written evocation of a childhood during the post-war years in Victoria. with his parents and younger brother, Garry Kinnane eked out a shabby-genteel existence from the rural backdrop of Mount Macedon to the backstreets of Richmond and North Melbourne. Shadowed Days is a poignant account of a young boy teetering on the edge of adolescence. It marks the junior Kinnane’s gradual and forceful realisation that life is unfair, whether it pertains to his beloved father’s tuberculosis, corporal punishment at the hands of the Christian Brothers or the poverty-stricken circumstances of his family… — The Age
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