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The Heaven I Swallowed

A novel

Rachel Hennessy

The Heaven I Swallowed
She let go of the screen door and it slammed shut, echoing in the quiet. For a moment, I could only see her eyes, almost separate from the rest of her. They held something, something long lost to me. She dissolved into the darkness and I stood alone on the concrete, flexing my hands. Abo, nigger, darky. Abo, nigger, darky.

In postwar Sydney, Grace Smith takes Mary, a young Aboriginal girl, into her home. She believes she will be able to save the child by giving her all the benefits of white society. But Mary's arrival has unexpected consequences as Grace's past comes back to haunt, and condemn her.

The Heaven I Swallowed is a tale of the Stolen Generations, told from the perspective of the white perpetrator.

Runner-up for the Australian/Vogel's award and longlisted for the Kibble Literary Award.

Praise for The Heaven I Swallowed:
'In this tale of the Stolen Generations, told from the (albeit twisted) perspective of a white woman, Hennessy has provided a sliver of insight into the racism that flourished in our society: a subject demanding exploration in contemporary Australian fiction ... a sensitive tale about a sensitive issue.' - Leigh Coyle, M/C Reviews

'I was completely riveted by this novel.' - Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers

'This small publishing house has picked a winner ... Hennessy writes like a dream.' - Dr Robyn Mundy, Westerly

'While The Heaven I Swallowed is in part a commentary on the Stolen Generation, it was the complexity of the character of Grace Smith which held me enthralled, I put it down only once, and resented even that.' - Shelleyrae, Book'd Out

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Rachel Hennessy was born in Canberra, and has lived in Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane, London and Adelaide. She resides now in Melbourne with her partner and two young daughters. In writing The Heaven I Swallowed, Rachel drew on the stories of her maternal grandmother, who was given up for adoption at a young age due to her Aboriginal ancestry, as well as the story of her paternal great-aunt, whose husband fought in World War II. She was motivated also by former Prime Minister John Howard's statement that Aboriginal children were taken away from their families 'for their own good'.

Rachel Hennessy's first novel The Quakers won the Adelaide Festival Award for an Unpublished Manuscript and was launched at Writers' Week in February 2008. The manu­script was also short-listed for the Varuna Writers' Centre Manuscript Development program and won the ArtsSA prize for Creative Writing.

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Format Paperback
Size 210 x 135 mm
ISBN 9781862549487
Extent 198 pages
Price: AU$24.95 including GST
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