To Begin to Know: Resolving Ethical Tensions in David Leser's Patriographical Work

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Book Chapter

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Publication Details

This book chapter was originally published as:

Joseph, S., & Rickett, C. (2018). To begin to know: Resolving ethical tensions in David Leser's patriographical work. In B. Avieson, F. Giles, & S. Joseph (Eds.), Mediating memory: Tracing the limits of memoir (pp. 237-250). New York, NY: Routledge.

ISBN: 978-1-138-09272-3


190402 Creative Writing (incl. Playwriting)| 200101 Communication Studies| 200502 Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)

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The practice of life writing raises ethical tensions for authors negotiating the space and intersections between self and other, and proprietorial entitlement.

The focus of this chapter is the method in which Australian author and journalist David Leser navigates these tensions – journalistic investigator and the dutiful son; former husband and doting father – in constructing his patriography To Begin To Know: Walking in the Shadows of My Father (Allen and Unwin 2014).

A prolific story teller, narrating the story of his father, publishing great, the late Bernard Leser, was impossible earlier in Leser’s career. But enmeshing it with his own story, ten years later, somehow bridged a tacit gap between father and son.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Mediating Memory: Tracing the Limits of Memoir on 31st December 2017, available online: https://www.routledge.com/Mediating-Memory-Tracing-the-Limits-of-Memoir-1st-Edition/Avieson-Giles-Joseph/p/book/9781138092723

© 2018 Routledge (Taylor & Francis).

Mediating memory: Tracing the limits of memoir may be accessed from the publisher here.

Staff and Students of Avondale College may access Mediating memory: Tracing the limits of memoir from Avondale College Library (920 Av5).

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