'Douglas and Barnett discuss their experiences teaching life writings of trauma to undergraduate literature students, employing Helen Garner's Joe Cinque's Consolation as a case study. They consider the affect of trauma stories and explore the ethics of including trauma texts in the literature curriculum–texts that often confront and destabilize students' reading positions. Such texts require the deployment of literary methodologies including, but also beyond, close reading–for instance, paratextual, contextual, and theory-based readings. Life narratives of trauma offer a means for broad considerations of the social and political efficacy of Australian literature texts.' (Publication summary)
I had been granted an inestimable privilege of looking into other people's lives. What I had found there had absorbed my intellectual and emotional attention for many hours. Unlike the Cinques, unlike the Singhs, I could walk away.
-Helen Garner, Joe Cinque's Consolation (121)
This book has some ethical problems. We only hear one version of events, and the author gets far too close to her subjects.
-Anonymous ENGL 2141 student