Everyone has a story to tell, as Dr Johnson intimated, and everyone has a story worth telling. This is precisely what Janice Madden has done, in her gathering together of personal accounts of the devastated lives of the refugees of our times.
They are powerful, moving, humbling tales, from diverse cultures, but unified by a shared experience of persecution, a desire to preserve identity and language, and a sense of the indomitable power of love. The stories are an awe-inspiring testimonial to the fortitude of the human spirit in the face of inhumanity. They are private, yet universal, for they represent the personal histories of countless others. And they are rarely heard. As Michael says, in The Road: "My story has never been told. No one asked me to tell it."
Thanks to Janice Madden, that has changed now.
Professor David Crystal, Jan 2010
Even memories deeply buried can be ignited by the senses.
Janice has shown absolute compassion and respect for her colleagues in resurrecting these often harshest of memories in the written word; the same compassion and respect she shows every minute of every working day for her beloved students in Adelaide's New Arrivals Program.Dave McPharlin (AUS),
We are taken in this book through some of the most appalling events of the twentieth century in the footsteps of a number of remarkable people. Their stories are told beautifully but simply, allowing the nature of the experiences and the personal responses to speak with their own eloquence. The people portrayed are powerless to effect the great deeds which end tyranny, but their stories carry the message that oppression can only succeed if it destroys the spirit. Individually and collectively these are powerful and ultimately life-affirming stories which capture the best of the human spirit in its response to adversity.Professor R W Chantrell - Dept of Physics, The University of York (UK),