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Ginninderra Press

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Mark Cornell / My Uncle

  • Mark Cornell / My Uncle
Uncle is a term for men connected to family not necessarily by blood, but by love. They can become second fathers, sometimes closer to a child than their real father. In Indigenous society, to call someone Uncle is a sign of respect. Michael Connor has just returned from Uluru, where he saw the creator God, Biame, in all his glory within the coal sack nebula of the Milky Way. In the form of an emu, his head abutting the Southern Cross, he keeps an eye out for us all. Michael finds it hard to settle back into city life. His Uncle, Ayden Oak, is dying. He tells his nephew he has written his life story in two exercise books, and asks if could help make it into a book. Ayden grew up in a humpy on a vacant block with his dark- skinned mum, Kalina. They scratched a living from selling vegetables. From Kalina, he learnt a history of his country not taught in schools. Uncles appeared in and out of his life, to help Ayden along the way. As a kid, Ayden was called ‘Abo’ and at one stage held down on the school asphalt playground, to be repeatedly kicked in the balls. That’s why they think he could never have kids. When Michael was a boy, Uncle Ayden used to come around every Friday night and read the Connor children Irish fairy stories. Michael was haunted by Oscar Wilde, and told his Uncle that’s why he became a writer. Ayden’s life story includes a history of his people from so-called ‘settlement’ right up until today. At times, this book is not an easy read, but then the truth never is.
978 1 76109 291 6, 142pp




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