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Small Wrongs

How we really say sorry in love, life and law

Kate Rossmanith

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Hardie Grant Books
01 June 2018
Memoirs; Penology & punishment; Psychology
Kate Rossmanith studied people for a living, and thought she understood human nature well. But in the wake of her daughter's birth, the vulnerability and intensity of parenthood took her completely by surprise. Faced with a debilitating insomnia, she spent hours awake reflecting on her own upbringing and the unwelcome role remorse can play in even the most devoted parents' lives.

Increasingly fascinated with the concept of remorse, she was drawn to the criminal courts, observing case after case. She talked to criminals, lawyers and judges alike, trying to answer the fundamental question: how can you know whether a person is ever truly sorry?

But it soon became clear the project was creating seismic shifts in Kate's own life. The more she learnt, the more she saw how her relationship with her father, who for many years was a distant and often angry man, was steeped in remorse. The more she learnt, the more she saw the faultlines in her marriage, widening under the strains of parenthood. And ever present was a family history sketched across war-torn Europe, with the seeds of heartache taking root in Australia.
By:   Kate Rossmanith
Imprint:   Hardie Grant Books
Country of Publication:   Australia
Weight:   340g
ISBN:   9781743794111
ISBN 10:   1743794118
Pages:   240
Publication Date:   01 June 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Kate Rossmanith is an author and an essayist, her nonfiction appearing in The Monthly, The Australian, and Best Australian Essays. In 2013, her essay `The Work of Judges' was nominated for a Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism, and in 2018 her short documentary Unnatural Deaths was published by The Guardian as part of a series exploring archives on film. She lives in Sydney and lectures at Macquarie University.

Reviews for Small Wrongs: How we really say sorry in love, life and law

'Small Wrongs is memoir-writing at its best' -- Fiona Capp * Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum * 'In this moving and spellbinding meditation on the mysteries of remorse, Kate Rossmanith shuttles between courtroom dramas and personal reminiscences as she traces out the repercussions of the calamitous mistakes and misfortunes that haunt our everyday lives. This is the gift Rossmanith gives her readers: through her elegant prose and riveting story structure, she opens up an elusive subject for us to ponder, withholding obvious closure, and yet satisfying us that she has reached the heart of the matter. Rarely does a book enter a reader's life so completely.' -- Professor Michael Jackson 'A moving investigation into the inner-workings of remorse and forgiveness, not just as a legal concept, but a tool to opening up our common humanity. Kate is a brilliant storyteller.' -- Alice Pung 'A sincere and delicate inquiry that moves with grace between public and private pain.' -- Helen Garner 'A sincere and delicate inquiry that moves with grace between public and private pain.' - Helen Garner 'Small Wrongs is memoir-writing at its best' - Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum


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