Not for official use

Featured in

  • Published 20110801
  • ISBN: 9781921758225
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

WHEN I READ Georgia Blain’s memoir, Births Deaths Marriages (Random House, 2008), I was struck by the cover of the book as well as by its remarkable contents. The design incorporates a copy of a birth certificate of similar vintage to mine, a document which is more familiar to me than any other I have owned.

My pale pink birth certificate, spotted and torn, is something that I took for granted until recently. Now I treasure it. This was because a couple of years ago I had to apply for a new passport, starting from scratch. The process proved to be yet another ordeal in the bureaucratic silos of government departments – not unexpected. But it was also a salutary lesson for someone like me, who has spent a lot of time undertaking primary research and who appreciates the significance of the original source – the document – when all else may prove inconclusive.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Share article

About the author

Debra Adelaide

Dr Debra Adelaide is the author or editor of over ten books, including several reference works on Australian women writers as well as themed...

More from this edition

Beyond stigma

Essay'Nothing is as revolutionary as candour.' – Robert Desnos (French surrealist from the 1930s) I THINK WE would agree – in some hazy way –...

Beyond truth and justice

EssayAT THE FUNERAL of Chile's General Pinochet, in December 2006, Francisco Cuadrado Prats stood for hours in a queue of grieving mourners. When it...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.