'Romulus Gaita fled his home in his native Yugoslavia at the age of thirteen, and came to Australia with his young wife Christina and their infant son Raimond soon after the end of World War II.
'Tragic events were to overtake the boy’s life, but Raimond Gaita has an extraordinary story to tell about growing up with his father amid the stony paddocks and flowing grasses of country Australia.
'Written simply and movingly, Romulus, My Father is about how a compassionate and honest man taught his son the meaning of living a decent life. It is about passion, betrayal and madness, about friendship and the joy and dignity of work, about character and fate, affliction and spirituality.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Text Publishing).
Unit Suitable For
AC: Year 11 (English Unit 2)
Australian country life, belonging, identity, migrant experience, migrating to Australia, morality, overcoming adversity, suffering, the impact of the past upon the present, truth
Critical and creative thinking, Information and communication technology, Intercultural understanding, Literacy, Personal and social
'In a key moment of reflection and pause, Romulus, My Father offers the reader a key to its interpretation. The author – philosopher Raimond Gaita – tells us that ‘Plato said that those who love and seek wisdom are clinging in recollection to things they once saw’. This reference to the Greek philosopher’s work Phaedrus occurs when the boy Raimond is about eight years old. He seems already to understand much about his father, in particular his father’s goodness, which he finds expressed in his workmanship, his honesty, and his commitment to friends. And yet, as Plato forewarns us, a search for the ultimate wisdom of such things must come later – several decades on, when Gaita is faced with the task of writing his father’s eulogy. It is then that a sense of his father’s character is joined to his own search for wisdom, a combination of biography and reflection that marks the memoir form at its best, and shapes the ultimate impact of Romulus, My Father.' (Introduction)