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Issue Details: First known date: 2010... 2010 Jessie Mei Mei : A Girl from a World Where No Games Are Played
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Jia-Mei was the child Sharon Guest and Stuart Neal had always wanted and, following a protracted adoption process, they excitedly travelled to China to collect her from a Chinese orphanage. Friends and family affectionately called her Jessie Mei Mei and welcomed her to a new life in Australia. Jessie was the perfect eighteen-month-old child - gregarious and funny and easy to love. But, from the beginning, Sharon, in that way that parents do, suspected something wasn't quite right about Jessie. She was too serious and immobile and learned quite slowly.

'When they adopt Bi Bi, another Chinese baby, Jessie's behaviour worries them so much that they seek medical help only to hear what no parent is ever prepared to hear - their beautiful daughter has a degenerative condition that means she will be lucky to see her twelfth birthday.

'What happens next is the all too common and shocking story of how a country as rich as ours shamefully fails to provide assistance to families in need. The bureaucratic silliness of government departments and their systemic inadequacy in supporting high needs children and adults leads to extreme actions on the part of their exhausted families.

'Jessie Mei Mei will break your heart with its frank, honest and surprisingly funny account of how one family managed. But in the end it is a story about kindness and the power of love to overcome all.' (From the publisher's website.)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2010 .
      Extent: 234p., [8]p. of col. platesp.
      Description: illus., ports
      ISBN: 9781742371047 (pbk.)

Works about this Work

Letter to My Daughter : Ethical Dilemmas in the Writing of a Memoir Willa McDonald , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs , October vol. 14 no. 2 2010;
'Writers of nonfiction are regularly called to make ethical decisions as part of the day-to-day requirements of their calling, as they balance the demands of publishers, editors, readers and the craft of storytelling itself, with responsibilities and sometimes loyalties to those written about. Writing memoir, in particular, raises a host of ethical questions regarding the ownership of the material and the ways in which it can be used. Our lives (and life stories) are made more interesting by our relationships, their ups and downs and the way we handle them. But what happens when we are telling the stories of those for whom it is difficult to give clear or informed consent? What happens when the line between the public and the private is blurred? When we are writing about family members? Our children? Do we have a greater ethical responsibility when telling their stories? Couser, Carey, Mills and others have deliberated on the responsibilities of the memoirist in celebrating the private self in the public realm. This paper reflects on these issues as part of the author’s own ethical dilemmas in writing about the adoption of her young daughter and her struggle to work out where her responsibilities lie in the creation of the text.' (Author's abstract)
Pick of the Week Bruce Elder , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 31 July - 1 August 2010; (p. 39)

— Review of Jessie Mei Mei : A Girl from a World Where No Games Are Played Sharon Guest , Stuart Neal , 2010 single work biography
Off the Shelf : Memoir Dianne Dempsey , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 10 July 2010; (p. 30)

— Review of Jessie Mei Mei : A Girl from a World Where No Games Are Played Sharon Guest , Stuart Neal , 2010 single work biography
Off the Shelf : Memoir Dianne Dempsey , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 10 July 2010; (p. 30)

— Review of Jessie Mei Mei : A Girl from a World Where No Games Are Played Sharon Guest , Stuart Neal , 2010 single work biography
Pick of the Week Bruce Elder , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 31 July - 1 August 2010; (p. 39)

— Review of Jessie Mei Mei : A Girl from a World Where No Games Are Played Sharon Guest , Stuart Neal , 2010 single work biography
Letter to My Daughter : Ethical Dilemmas in the Writing of a Memoir Willa McDonald , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs , October vol. 14 no. 2 2010;
'Writers of nonfiction are regularly called to make ethical decisions as part of the day-to-day requirements of their calling, as they balance the demands of publishers, editors, readers and the craft of storytelling itself, with responsibilities and sometimes loyalties to those written about. Writing memoir, in particular, raises a host of ethical questions regarding the ownership of the material and the ways in which it can be used. Our lives (and life stories) are made more interesting by our relationships, their ups and downs and the way we handle them. But what happens when we are telling the stories of those for whom it is difficult to give clear or informed consent? What happens when the line between the public and the private is blurred? When we are writing about family members? Our children? Do we have a greater ethical responsibility when telling their stories? Couser, Carey, Mills and others have deliberated on the responsibilities of the memoirist in celebrating the private self in the public realm. This paper reflects on these issues as part of the author’s own ethical dilemmas in writing about the adoption of her young daughter and her struggle to work out where her responsibilities lie in the creation of the text.' (Author's abstract)
Last amended 12 Jul 2010 14:43:49
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