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God, the devil and me

Author :  Alf Taylor

Product Details

  • Country Australia
  • Publisher Magabala Books
  • ISBN9781925936391
  • FormatPaperBack
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Year of Publication2021
  • Bib. Infoxii, 289 pages ; 24 cm
  • CategoriesDU - Oceania (South Seas)
  • Product Weight415 gms.
  • Shipping Charges(USD)

Product Description

Alf Taylor went into New Norcia Mission, north of Perth, when he was 'small' in the fifties and stayed into the sixties. His father and grandfather had been there before him. He grew up at the mission until he left as a fifteen-year-old, hitchhiking to Coolgardie and then Perth, to find his mother and drink himself to death. In this unusual and highly entertaining autobiography, Alf chronicles the life and desperation of young children, whose lives were made up of varying degrees of cruelty and punishments at the hands of the Spanish nuns and brothers that raised them all. These children were the 'little black devils' that God and religion forgot. Written with an acerbic and brutal wit, Alf provides a Monty Pythonesque retelling of the Bible in which Peter is an alcoholic and Judas a good guy. Underfed, poorly clothed and missing his family, Alf sought refuge in the library in the company of Shakespeare and Michelangelo. God, the Devil and Me recounts Alf's longing for family and place, the sheer terror of God, a self-disrespect that was belted into him (sometimes on frosty mornings), his wide-eyed impudence, comic rebellion, his salvation through discovering writing and the bush, his identity crisis and ultimate wish to become a matador. This memoir is both Gothic horror story and comedy - sometimes both at once - and it includes Alf's reinterpretation of the New Testament. Alf has created a work unique not just in Aboriginal writing, but in Australian literature altogether. Alf writes with joy about the camaraderie of the boys, their love of sport and their own company but also notes that many descended into despair upon leaving. Most died early. Alf Taylor is one of the 'lucky ones'.

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