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  • Radio & Podcast

    Radio & Podcast The language we use about children in care Word of Mouth ➝ Better Reading Top 100: Criag Silvey on the Books that Shaped his Childhood Better Reading ➝ How Walter Scott’s stories shaped Scotland History Extra ➝ The floating hell of prison hulks History Extra Podcast ➝ Charlie Chaplin's Funny Walk and Other Music Hall Mysteries The History Listen ➝ A free lunch Life Changing with Jane Garvey ➝ Douglass on Slavery Talking Politics: History of Ideas ➝ Maya Angelou (radio) World Book Club ➝ Andrea Levy - Small Island World Book Club ➝ Why Bond and the Beatles ruled the sixties History Extra ➝ Adoption and moral obligation The Philosopher's Zone ➝ The green suitcase and the secret family Conversations ➝ Stacey Halls Bookclub ➝ The kids who broke out of detention Background Briefing ➝ The Imprint Weekly Podcast The Imprint Weekly Podcast ➝ Trans-national adoption and "blending in" The Philosopher's Zone ➝ Pieces of a Man BBC Radio 4 ➝ How Superman Defeated the KKK (in Real Life): Hear the World Changing 1946 Radio Drama Open Culture ➝ Discovering you are not who you thought you were ABC God Forbid ➝ Stolen Stolen ➝ My ancestors were both slaves and slave owners Malik Al Nasir ➝ Episode 5. Person With Care Experience - BBC Sounds Small Axe ➝ Mother of Lion, Sue Brierley, tells her story Sue Brierley ➝ Foundling: Found - a new podcast series Julian Brown ➝ Inside A Mountain PodBean Development ➝ Jenni Fagan 12 Podcast Episodes ​ ➝ Trevor Jordan: adoption and the ethics of secrets Trevor Jordan ➝ A Journey through the Disney Animated Classics Daniel Lammin ➝ Karen Menzies' hidden Aboriginal heritage Karen Menzies ➝ The Horror Writer: Edgar Allan Poe Denis O’Hare ➝ ‎John Lennon - Part 1: Composer of Longing on Apple Podcasts Personology ➝ In and out of strife: Vickie Roach's turbulent life Vickie Roach ➝ Series 4 Episode 1 Birth & Justice ➝ From the Festivals — Lemn Sissay Lemn Sissay ➝ When Robert met Maida Robert Tickner ➝ The indestructible nature of Corey White Corey White ➝ Jeanette Winterson: the storyteller's tale Jeanette Winterson ➝ Jackie Kay Desert Island Discs ➝ Guilty feminist Deborah Frances-White Conversations ➝ Voices in Action Voices in Action ➝ What Just Happened? LRB Conversations ➝ Margo O'Byrne Fremantle Shipping News ➝ My long-lost sister was a surrogate mother to my twins BBC Outlook ➝ Episode 237. Marilyn Monroe The Rest is History 2 ➝ Rousseau on Inequality Talking Politics: History of Ideas ➝ The forgotten children of the Empire Conversations ➝ Why my birth parents tried to keep me a secret BBC Outlook ➝ Alone with J.S. Bach The History Listen ➝ Jennifer Down and Jonathan Franzen relive the 1970s The Book Show ➝ A Sea-Brooding Poet TLS Podcast ➝ Lady Killers with Lucy Worsley BBC Sounds ➝ The 'Troubled Teen' Industry Truth & Consequences ➝ Episode 74 - The Care Experienced Conference The Adoption and Fostering Podcast ➝ PG Wodehouse Great Lives ➝ Can new scientific evidence prove a convicted child-killer is innocent? | 60 Minutes Australia 60 Minutes Australia ➝ The Unsent Letters of Erik Satie BBC Radio 4 ➝ A Reading Life, A Writing Life A Reading Life, A Writing Life ➝ The Poet: Dr. Maya Angelou American Masters ➝ Peter Bell and the singular quest of Kyung Ae Peter Bell ➝ Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte ➝ Uncle Jack Charles: not true blue, true blak Jack Charles ➝ Charles Dickens - Great Expectations Charles Dickens ➝ Matthew Henson: Courageous Discoverer Despite Racism Matthew Henson ➝ Poet Jackie Kay traces her journey to her birth parents Jackie Kay ➝ Nina Bernstein and June Norton on Ella Fitzgerald American Masters ➝ Alone on a Wide Wide Sea Michael Morpurgo ➝ A mother I never knew — the secret of Peter Papathanasiou Peter Papathanasiou ➝ The Joy of Dickens Johnny Pitts et al. ➝ ‎Daddy-Less Issues Podcast on Apple Podcasts Chanel Ali Rollo et al. ➝ The Children of Morelia Destry Maria Sibley ➝ The Bed Under the Stairs Lemn Sissay ➝ The wisdom of deep listening: Miriam Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann and Fleur Magick Dennis Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann ➝ New Norcia’s nuns and the riddle of reconciliation Veronica Willaway ➝ Jeanette Winterson - Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit Jeanette Winterson ➝ How 700 Polish children made an unlikely journey from the depths of Siberia to the New Zealand countryside. Stories from the Eastern West ➝ Jackie Kay: Trumpet World Book Club ➝ Sherlock Holmes The Rest is History ➝ The Book Club: Patricia Highsmith The Bookshelf ➝ Christmas with Charles Dickens BBC You're Dead to Me ➝ Philip Pullman (BBC) World Book Club ➝ The unusual life of Elizabeth Macarthur Conversations ➝ Patricia Cornwell World Book Club ➝ The sisters reuniting separated siblings at camp BBC Outlook ➝ Remembering Randall Remembering Randall ➝ Malik and Mark Descendants ➝ Stupid crooks, crooked cops and honest John Conversations ➝ Redacted Lives Redacted Lives ➝ May Wirth: bareback riding queen The History Listen ➝ Forest hermit to Professor:Dr Gregory P Smith TEDxTalks ➝ The mums accused of poisoning their kids Background Briefing ➝ Astrid Lindgren, creator of Pippi Longstocking Great Lives ➝ Stripped of my spirituality Heart and Soul ➝ Wards of the State Karlos Dillard ➝ Muhammad, Cervantes and the Algarve LRB Podcast ➝ The Songwriter: Willie Nelson American Masters ➝ The orphan hero: George King Helen Berry ➝ Foundling: Found Episode 7, Mo Jamil Julian Brown ➝ Season 3, Episode 6 Dee Michell and Rosie Canning on Care Experience & Culture - Trauma Resonance Resilience Lisa Cherry ➝ Hamilton: the man behind the musical History Extra ➝ The IMO Podcast: open and honest conversations with care leavers IMO ➝ Betty, Queen of Donks Betty Klimenko ➝ Loco Parentis Podcast Twayna Mayne ➝ BBC Radio 4 - Books and Authors, Joyce Carol Oates, Wind in the Willows and Orphans in literature Joyce Carol Oates ➝ John Lennon - Part 2: Joined to Yoko on Apple Podcasts Personology ➝ The babies of Holnicote House Deborah Prior ➝ Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller - Broadway and me Jeffrey Seller ➝ BBC Radio 4 - Child of the State Lemn Sissay ➝ An ode to the telephone Melanie Tait ➝ ‎The Penguin Podcast: Alex Wheatle with Nihal Arthanayake Alex Wheatle et al ➝ Mary Wilson — Dream Girl Mary Wilson ➝ Back to Top

  • PG Wodehouse

    Radio & Podcast PG Wodehouse Great Lives 2017 In this Great Lives episode, Stephen Fry talks about PG Wodehouse (1881-1975), one of his favourite writers. Included in the discussion is the young Pelham Grenville’s childhood away from his parents (dad was a magistrate working in the then British colony of Hong Kong). A ‘child of the Empire’ Stephen Fry calls him. Because it was aunts often looking after Pelham rather than his parents – he felt parcelled around - aunts tend to feature in his stories rather than parents. PG Wodehouse was a prolific writer. His creations include Bertie Wooster and his wise valet, Jeeves. External Website

  • Radio & Podcast, P

    Authors P PG Wodehouse ➝ John Lennon - Part 2: Joined to Yoko on Apple Podcasts ➝ The Joy of Dickens ➝ A mother I never knew — the secret of Peter Papathanasiou ➝ ‎John Lennon - Part 1: Composer of Longing on Apple Podcasts ➝ The babies of Holnicote House ➝ Back to Top

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Blog Posts (15)

  • The Bone People

    Dr Dee Michell reflects on The Bone People by Keri Hulme. In 1965, Irish writer John McGahern’s novel, The Dark, was banned in Ireland because of its “indecent or obscene” content. The content was a detailed account of child abuse—physical, verbal, sexual—by the child’s father, with the suggestion that a priest might also be sexually abusing the boy. Twenty years later, Keri Hulme’s debut novel, The Bone People—which has the physical assault of a small boy, a child in foster care, at its centre—won the 1985 Booker Prize. Hulme was the first New Zealander to win the Booker, but the win was “all too disturbing for many, including some of that year’s other judges” (Shaffi). While judges Marina Warner and JW Lambert, along with St John Stevas, supported The Bone People, Nina Bawden opposed the book because of its violence, as did Joanna Lumley… ‘This is over-my-dead-body stuff for me,’ wrote Lumley…in a letter to her fellow Booker Prize judges… ‘I can’t bring myself to approve any of it; its poetry (to me) is whining, and its subject matter finally indefensible. ‘We can’t have a book on childbattering, no matter how lyrically observed, carrying off the gold’ (Shaffi). The Bone People is a long and difficult read—because of the violence—but also strangely compelling because it is beautifully written; it is a story “lyrically observed”. Simon, a mute boy of about 6 or 7 years of age, lives with his foster father, Joe Gillayley. He is clearly a traumatised child—the survivor of a shipwreck and perhaps of early abuse—whose behaviour is puzzling for many in the community, including his teachers and his foster father; the community see him as having “a touchpaper temper… Also he specialises in sneakthievery and petty vandalism”. Plus, “… he’s not all there. Emotionally disturbed or something” (Hulme, 42). Simon—of apparently Irish heritage—disappears so often he wears a pendant with his name and address: 1 PACIFIC STREET WHANGAROA PHONE 633Z COLLECT SIMON GILLAYLEY CANNOT SPEAK (Hulme, 21) One day Simon (also known as Sim, Haimona and Himi) wanders, breaks into really, the home of local artist, Kerewin. Kerewin initially sees Simon as “… The vandal, the vagabond, the wayward urchin, the scarecrow child…” (Hulme 45). Kere’s aware she’s not been entirely considerate of Simon during his ‘visit’ but the boy reports to his father that she’s been “kind and patient” even though she was taken aback by his sudden presence. “That was impressive” says Joe, because generally he’s either treated as an idiot or deaf as well as mute…” (Hulme 60) Kerewin Holmes (obviously Keri Hulme) is a biracial woman who identifies with Maori culture. Kerewin wasn’t abused as a child but we never find out why she was pushed out of her family. Her estrangement from family and sense of alienation from the broader community is externalised by the home she has built, a multi-story spiral tower on the edge of the beach and at the fringe of the community, where she lives self-sufficiently—for the most part. Joe is Maori and was in kinship care; he was given to his grandmother when he was 3 years old. The extent of harsh treatment is not clear, but Joe admits his grandfather was “hard on me” and his grandmother “wasn’t one for letting kids take it easy” (Hulme 277). Joe once had dreams of being a teacher but is now a widower working in a factory. He’s worked steadily and owns his home freehold. Simon and Joe offer Kere a sense of family. The 3 even go on a fishing holiday together during which Kere confronts Joe about his behaviour; she has recently discovered that Joe whips Simon mercilessly. Kere had earlier become aware that Joe is ‘strict’ but decided it wasn’t her business, not until she sees the weals and gashes on the boy’s body. Then she hesitates: What the hell do I do now? O, I know what I’m supposed to do. Ring up Child Welfare and report the bloody mess [Simon] is in. “Excuse me, I know a small child who’s getting bashed…it looks like he’s been thrashed with a whip (but I hope to God no).” I can just hear it. “You’ve known him how many weeks and you never suspected he was getting badly treated!” “Uh, well, he’s very good at hiding his pain.” I can just hear it. She is furious with herself, not only because she must have hurt him. Joe, you good kind patient sweetnatured gentlefingered everloving BASTARD But I knew all along, herr Gott, Something always felt wrong. No, I didn’t. I had suspicions when he was here with his face battered. But he never said it was Joe, and Joe didn’t admit it was him. I’ve seen him slapped. Hell, everyone slaps kids (Hulme 180-181, emphasis in the original). Joe commits to henceforth only hitting Simon with Kere’s express permission. It’s after the holiday that Kere hears about Joe’s family’s complicity in Simon being regularly beaten. Kere is at the pub and being quizzed by a member of Joe’s family concerned about Simon’s wellbeing: “You know Kere, the number of times we have, Piri has, fixed up poor Himi…he used to come round with terrible weals on him, didn’t he Piri? Terrible cuts, and we couldn’t say anything to Ma, because she’d get too upset. And we couldn’t do anything, because you feel sorry for Joe being alone and all…but that poor kid! God sometimes he could hardly walk… (Hulme 347). Then comes the day when Simon visits a problematic local character, only to find he is dead. Understandably shocked and horrified by the death, and terrified he’ll be blamed it, Simon goes to Kere’s but she is too preoccupied to find out what is bothering Simon. Simon trashes a treasured guitar, gets sent home, and breaks the windows of all the houses on his way there. In a later phone conversation, Kerewin berates Simon: Her voice is strange. It rasps; it grates; it abrades. She can’t touch him physically so she is beating him with her voice. What she says drums through his head, resounding in waves as though his head were hollow, and the words bound back from one side to smash against the other (Hulme 373-374). Kerewin then permits Joe to beat Simon who—unusually—retaliates and stabs Joe with broken glass. Both end up in hospital. Simon is in a coma. The Bone People was written over something like 12 years (some sources say 20) and was then rejected by every major publisher in New Zealand. It was accepted by “a tiny feminist press in New Zealand led by three women…” (Jordison). The initial print run was 2,000 copies. When they sold out and so did the next 2,000, Spiral approached Hodder and Stoughton in New Zealand, who shifted another 20,000 and brought it to the attention of the Booker judges (Jordison). Generally, critics are divided. Some are thrilled by her work ; others think the way Hulme takes up the issue of colonisation “breaks down too easily into bad writing and spiritual nonsense” (Haq). Several commentators go so far as to suggest Hulme won the prize because the judges “were not a little influenced by the story of Keri Hulme’s heroic efforts to write and publish her novel” (Kakutani). As far as I know, the story of Simon is fictional, coming to Hulme in a dream. Yet Hulme demonstrates an awareness of trauma and the oft unwitting repetition of child abuse by those, like Joe, who haven’t reckoned with the emotional legacy of their own childhood. By the time the tumult had died down around Keri Hulme’s Booker Prize win, a new trend in publishing was emerging, that of people telling their stories of being, often, brutalised by parents and guardians when they were children. In the vanguard of this trend is Pulitzer Prize winning American historian, Richard Rhodes’ A Hole in the World: An American Boyhood (1990) in which he speaks of enduring 2 years of exploitation and violence by his stepmother. Keri Hulme’s fictional story, then, is fact for all too many people around the world. As indeed it was for John McGahern. References: Wahid Haq (2014) Critical response on The Bone People by Keri Hulme. Sam Jordison (2009) Booker club: The Bone People by Keri Hulme. The Guardian, 20 November 2009. Kakutani, Michiko (1985) Books of The Times. The New York Times, 13 November 1985. Theresa Schiavone (2016) Child Abuse in American Storytelling: Masterful storytellers can make it possible to speak not only of child abuse, but of the abuse of ‘our children’. ChildAbuse & Neglect, 54, 78-85. Sarah Shaffi (2022) How Keri Hulme’s The Bone People changed the way we read now. The Booker Prizes,

  • Foundling Book Club Event

    Care Experience & Culture Foundling Book Club Event: Via Zoom 11th November 2022 and live at the Foundling Museum, London 11am UK /8.30pm Adelaide, South Australia /6am Atlanta, Georgia USA In conjunction with the Foundling Museum, London, we are thrilled to announce a Foundling Book Club (hybrid in-person and online event) during the Being Human Festival exploring the power of first-hand accounts in the narratives of care experience. Speakers include Foundling Museum Curator Kathleen Palmer who will talk about the Foundling Hospital and its history. We also have Justine Cowan, an American lawyer who will share what prompted her to investigate her mother’s childhood at the Foundling Hospital, and Dr Josie Pearse, a London-based artist and independent researcher into adoption history, who will speak with us about The Child She Bare (1919), by Hannah Brown, a reflection of her childhood at the Foundling Hospital from 1866 to 1881. Timetable: 11.00 - Brief intro to Care Experience & Culture - 5mins (Dee) 11.05 - Introduction to the Foundling Museum by Curator Kathleen Palmer (UK) - 20 mins 11.25 – Intro to speaker (Dee Michell) 11.27 - The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames with Justine Cowan (US) - 20 mins 11.47 - Intro to speaker (Rosie Canning) 11.49 - The Child She Bare with Dr Josie Pearse (UK) - 20 mins 12.09 - Questions - 20 minutes 12.30 - Close Justine Cowan is an American attorney and author of The New York Times Editors’ Pick, The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames, which details how Justine uncovered the true story of her mother’s upbringing at London’s Foundling Hospital. Justine’s mother was difficult and exacting. Only after her death was Justine drawn to an envelope filled with clues about a past that had never been spoken of, buried in the back of an old filing cabinet. Its contents revealed a mystery that led her across the Atlantic Ocean to discover a truth she could scarcely imagine. Justine will share her transformative journey and how it allowed her to make peace with her family’s troubled past. Dr Josie Pearse is an artist, writer and independent researcher into adoption history. She was surrendered as a toddler and spent a period in care in a residential nursery before being adopted. Her PhD ( Backstory, writing on the cusp of life and fiction. Creative Writing Cardiff 2013) is a creative reclamation of her unrecorded orphan story. Just over a hundred years ago an anonymous author answered a survey. It was sent out by a Select Committee looking at the regulation of child adoption. Tracking the history of adoption, Josie traced a book written by the anonymous author. She presents a reading of it as a testament to creative human resilience under the restrictions of the child welfare system. All welcome. If you are joining online, you will need to book a free ticket. If you are coming to the museum that day, entrance is free. Twitter: @FoundlingMuseum @kpalmer101 @DrDeeMichell @Rosie_Canning @_JustineCowan @jojowasawoman

  • Diversity & Children's Fiction

    Care Experience & Culture book club event: Via Zoom 25th June 2022 10am UK time / 6.30pm Adelaide / 7.00pm Melbourne Email: to register You can watch the Book Club Event here: Dr Sarah Mokrzycki is a writer and artist living on Eastern Maar and Wadawurrung land. She has a PhD on the importance of family diversity in picture books, and teaches creative writing and children’s literature at Victoria University. Sarah is a non-bio mum of three children from fostering backgrounds, and a passionate advocate of children at risk. Sarah wrote and illustrated a family diverse book, while also researching the importance and benefits of inclusive children's literature - a first in Australia. As Sarah writes: "Research shows that when children can’t see themselves in books, their sense of self-worth, their ability to form healthy friendships and their reading and educational development can all be obstructed. Relating to book characters is a vital tool that engages young children with literature. It connects them to the world, validates their personal experiences and helps forge a lifelong love of reading." Despite the clear benefits, Sarah has found that Australia's diversity is rarely reflected in Australian picture books, and where such books do exist, they tend to be published overseas, often in the UK. Jane Teather is a Reader and Home Educator living in Hertfordshire, UK Jane will talk about diverse representations in children’s fiction in some of the books she has found that provide a more diverse world view for children and young people. Starting with the books she read as a child and young adult, moving on to multiculturalism and disability awareness thanks to working in the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA), actively seeking out alternative voices for her children and finally continuing to find different viewpoints in recent fiction. Jane was born in Guildford and adopted at ten days old. She grew up in a loving family that was for her, the right match. She was a reader from a young age – some of her earliest memoires are of books she borrowed from the local library: Miffy, Rev Awdrey stories and My Naughty Little Sister. When Jane was nine they moved to Guernsey and she stayed there until she went to Brighton Polytechnic to study librarianship. Although initially she thought of working in a library because she loved books Jane quickly realised that it is more important to want to help people, and the books are a by product of this. Trained as a librarian, her first professional job was in a further education college in London which was a cultural shock after Guernsey and Brighton. Thanks to ILEA, she quickly had her eyes opened to multiculturalism and other diversities and thrived working with students from 16 – 70. In her early thirties she fell pregnant, and this was when her adoption finally caught up with her as she found she could not leave her baby for any length of time. The idea of going back to work made her want to sob and so with the full support of her partner she gave up paid employment and became a stay-at-home mum. This was, for her, a joyful act and one she has never regretted. Jane reads fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, poetry – anything that takes her fancy. **ALL WELCOME**

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