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03 December 2012

Cover image: Edna Reindel, Praying mothers, 1948 Photograph, courtesy of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC/Cover from Australian Scholarly PublishingA collection of narratives that together form a book revealing the lived reality of war will be launched at the University of South Australia this week.

Edited by UniSA academic Dr Nigel Starck, Legacies of War will be launched by Director of Veterans SA Bill Denny AM on December 7 at UniSA’s Magill Campus.

A collection of 16 untold stories chronicling the wartime experiences of civilians, journalists, doctors and soldiers, the book uses different perspectives to give readers a unique insight into what war is actually like.

“The diverse stories that make up the Legacies of War bring a new dimension to the war writing genre. It is not just one person’s story based on a single war but instead a way of understanding war from many different angles,” Dr Starck says.

“People embrace the remembrance of war in a number of ways, including the pilgrimage to Anzac Cove in Turkey which is undertaken by thousands of Australians every year. Legacies of War offers readers a bridge to understand the historical background of modern conflicts and more importantly, an insight into the experience of war.”

Drawing from accounts from both World Wars, as well as more recent conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan, the book contains individual narratives grouped under four themes - Wounds of War, Artefacts of War, Writings of War, and Memory and Memorial. 

“The stories range from a surgeon’s experience on the frontline to the first Anzac Day celebrated in Adelaide. The account of that first commemoration provides a vivid description of the event, which took place on Labour Day in 1915 and bears little resemblance to the ANZAC Day celebrations as we know them today,” Dr Starck says.

The result of a symposium of the same name, Legacies of War is the third book in a series by UniSA’s Narratives of War Research Group, which was formed to preserve and contribute to the literature, art, performance, music and the diaries, memoirs, and personal accounts of conflict and its aftermath.

A number of UniSA academics from the Research Group contributed to the book, including Professor Claire Woods, Professor Kerry Green, Associate Professor Peter Bishop, Dr Paul Skrebels, Dr Russell Fewster and Sharon Mascall-Dare.

The Legacies of War launch will be held at UniSA’s Magill campus this Friday at 3pm and the book will be available for purchase on the day for the special price of $30.00. For more information and to purchase the book online, click here.

Media Contact

Rosanna Galvin office (08) 8302 0578 mobile 0434 603 457 email rosanna.galvin@unisa.edu.au

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