Today’s top book news item:
Doris Pilkington Garimara, the aboriginal author who wrote of the forced separation of mixed-race aboriginal children from their families, died on April 10. She was thought to be 76.
Garimara’s novel Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence was based on the story of her mother, one of the so-called Stolen Generation, who was taken from her family and placed in a government settlement. She escaped with two other girls and walked more than 1,000 miles through the Australian wilderness. Garimara, too, was a member of the Stolen Generation and grew up in a mission believing she had been abandoned by her mother.
"[W]hile we were in the mission, again, we were continually told, you know, that the Aboriginal culture was evil … [a]nd the people who practiced it were pagans and devil worshippers," she said in a 2003 interview. Reunited years later, Garimara’s mother told her the story of her escape, which became a novel and then a celebrated film.