Biography, vol. 31, no. 2 (2008)

Biography 31.2 cover imageCover art

Editors’ Note, iii


Slave Brands or Cicatrices? Writing on Aboriginal Skin in Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of Early Queensland
Penny Van Toorn, 223

This paper examines the relationship between two very different forms of self-representation using alphabetic characters. One is a printed text, Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of Early Queensland (1904), a canonical work of white colonial Australian life writing. The other is a set of meaningful raised scars or cicatrices carved by Tom Petrie into the arms of twenty-five Aboriginal men at their own request. Were the marks a form of slave brand, and Tom Petrie a de facto slave owner? Or was he a backwoods amanuensis to a group of Indigenous men whose traditions of bodily inscription were beginning to accommodate alphabetic characters as a mode of self-representation?

Proof of Life: Memoir, Truth, and Documentary Evidence
Carolyn Kraus, 245

While searching for the truth behind the peculiar and contradictory story of her father’s past, the writer explores the many ways public and private documents can speak—not only through words and images, but also through silence, deception, and duplicity.


The Mind’s Eye: Image and Memory in Writing about Trauma, by Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy
Reviewed by Carra Leah Hood, 269

Identity’s Strategy: Rhetorical Selves in Conversion, by Dana Anderson
Reviewed by Suzanne Diamond, 278

Transculturing Auto/Biography: Forms of Life Writing, edited by Rosalia Baena
Reviewed by Marlene Kadar, 282

Genèse et autofiction, by Catherine Viollet and Jean-Louis Jeannelle with Isabelle Grelle
Reviewed by Armine Kotin Mortimer, 285

Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, by Richard Bauckham
Reviewed by Telford Work, 290

Stories of Joseph: Narrative Migrations between Judaism and Islam, by Marc S. Bernstein
Reviewed by Burton L. Visotzky, 295

Being for Myself Alone: Origins of Jewish Autobiography, by Marcus Mosely
Reviewed by Benjamin Nathans, 297

Renaissance Monks: Monastic Humanism in Six Biographical Sketches, by Franz Posset
Reviewed by Duane A. Rudolph, 303

The Value of Worthless Lives: Writing Italian American Immigrant Autobiographies, by Ilaria Serra
Reviewed by Phylis Cancilla Martinelli, 305

Visibly Different: Face, Place and Race in Australia, edited by Maureen Perkins
Reviewed by Andrew Jakubowicz, 308

Writing Desire: Sixty Years of Gay Autobiography, by Bertram J. Cohler
Reviewed by Mark McClelland, 310

Crossing the Divide: Representations of Deafness in Biography, by Rachel M. Hartig
Reviewed by Brenda Jo Brueggemann, 312

Excerpts from recent reviews of biographies, autobiographies, and other works of interest