The daily Lowdown–Books and Authors

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*Doris Pilkington Garimara, the aboriginal author who wrote of the forced separation of mixed-race aboriginal children from their families, . 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 . Reunited years later, Garimara’s mother told her the story of her escape, which became a novel and then a celebrated film.

*Author Randy Jernigan spills more than just a few personal secrets in his new publication out today. In The Road to Happiness (Creative Partners Books) Jernigan goes into greater detail about his deep depression issues while attending Brigham Young University, and how a close friend and member of the famous singing Osmond family once saved him from suicide. “My depression was just more than I could handle at the time,” Jernigan writes. “…I was in such a dark, lonely place. I didn’t want to live any more. I’m grateful that there was a friend there to talk to me and slap some sense into me.” The Road to Happiness is the first in a series of 6 essays books Jernigan will publish for Creative Partners Books.

J K Rowling tells BBC’s Woman’s Hour this morning of the sadness she feels that her mother, who died of complications related to MS at 45, never knew of her success with her Harry Potter novels. Her mother died after suffering with an aggressive form of the disease 15 years ago; “Her death was an enormous shock to me,” Rowling tells the show’s host. Earlier this week it was also reported that her “Casual Vacancy” will be produced as a television miniseries for both HBO and the BBC.

* Michele Glazer has a poem titled in the Boston Review:
We have arrived at what we dread: the
diminution of loved ones, livid

and unmistakable lapses, quick
angers that lap at, lick at

dread: dread

that is the one certain shore.
The Best Books Coming Out This Week:
*Lisa Robinson began reporting at a time when rock journalism “was in its infancy and mostly populated by boys who had ambitions to become the next Norman Mailer,” she writes in her pleasantly gossipy memoir, There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll. Her memories of some of music’s biggest legends, from Mick Jagger to Michael Jackson to Lady Gaga (whom she describes as “a cute girl in her twenties who had really good manners”), animate this book, though Robinson sometimes gets a little too misty with nostalgia.

* Francine Prose’s Lovers At the Chameleon Club, 1932 follows Lou Villars, a French lesbian racecar driver who spied for the Nazis. Told by competing narrators, the book is more a story about the unreliability of memory and storytelling than a tale about Lou. The book is flawed, mostly because of its habit of assigning ever-more elaborate identities (lesbian Nazi racecar driver, wealthy baroness who worked for the Resistance) to its characters rather than developing them as people. But it also makes a persuasive point about the ways that the authors of history have their own agendas.


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