[ book ] Prisoner in Paradise

May 4, 2018

Prisoner in Paradise

Sally Dudley 

Rating: 3 / 5

Sally Dudley is angry, and she wants us to hear the story of her husband Cedric so we can share her anger. Hence she has written this book. Cedric is a man whose story is one of discrimination and injustice—like that of many of our First Nations peoples.

Prisoner in Paradise is a detailed family history, beginning with Cedric’s great-grandfather, born circa 1880. It is a saga of loss—of being removed from family, of unfair treatment, of loss of freedom, of working for white bosses for nothing more than an allocation of rations, and ultimately of loss of identity.

It’s important that modern-day Australians understand the plight of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the injustices they have endured since European settlement. But this book, being decidedly one-sided, and with highly emotive language, may dissuade some readers—particularly those who have trouble confronting the ugly reality of Australia’s treatment of its first people. Colin Lane

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Vol. 139, No. 14 // 11 April 2020

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