The Labour of Loss: Mourning, Memory and Wartime Bereavement in Australia

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 28, 1999 - History - 212 pages
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The Labour of Loss, first published in 1999, explores how mothers, fathers, widows, relatives and friends dealt with their experiences of grief and loss during and after the First and Second World Wars. Based on an examination of private loss through letters and diaries, it makes a significant contribution to understanding how people came to terms with the deaths of friends and family. The book considers the ways in which the bereaved dealt with grief psychologically, and analyses the social and cultural context within which they mourned their dead. Damousi shows that grief remained with people as they attempted to re-build an internal and external world without those to whom they had been so fundamentally attached. Unlike other studies in this area, The Labour of Loss considers how mourning affected men and women in different ways, and analyses the gendered dimensions of grief.

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Theatres of Grief Theatres of Loss
The Sacrificial Mother
A Fathers Loss
The War Widow and the Cost of Memory
Returned Limbless Soldiers Identity through Loss
The Second World War
Absence as Loss on the Homefront and the Battlefront
Grieving Mothers
A War Widows Mourning

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Page 1 - tramples in blind fury on all that comes in its way as though there were to be no future and no peace among men after it is over. It cuts all the common bonds between the contending peoples and threatens to leave a legacy of embitterment that will make any renewal of those bonds impossible for a long time to come.

About the author (1999)

Joy Damousi was born on June 17, 1961 in Melbourne, Australia. She is a graduate of La Trobe University , BA (Honours) and Australian National University, PhD in history. She has held various positions at the University of Melbourne, Monash University, La Trobe University in women's studies and history. Her books include Gender and War: Australians at War in the Twentieth Century, Depraved and Disorderly: Female Convicts, Sexuality and Gender in Colonial Australia, Living with the Aftermath: Trauma, Nostalgia and Grief in Post-War Australia, The Labour of Loss: Mourning, Memory and Wartime Bereavement in Australia, Colonial Voices: A Cultural History of English in Australia, 1840-1940, and Memory and Migration in the Shadow of War: Australia's Greek Immigrants after World War II and the Greek Civil War.

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