Alfred Deakin Research Institute

Gardens Of Fire

Fri, 09 Aug 2013 12:28:00 +1000

ADRI Visiting Fellow, Dr Robert Kenny, launched his latest book with us: Gardens of Fire: An investigative memoir
on Tuesday 27th August.

From publisher, UWA's website:

Both an intensely personal memoir of loss and recovery, and a meditative analysis on the human relationship with fire, Gardens of Fire is an extraordinary book with a terrible beauty.

The Black Saturday bushfires of 7 February 2009 were the most catastrophic in Australia’s history; one hundred and seventy three people lost their lives and over two thousand homes were destroyed.

In Redesdale, Robert Kenny was prepared with a sound fire plan, but the reality of the fire was more ferocious and more unpredictable than he could have imagined — by the end of the day, his house and the life contained within were gone.

Gardens of Fire extends his experience of watching his life go up in flames to an investigation of the idea that, as humans, we are children of fire.

This is a remarkable and compelling narrative that explores European and Aboriginal mythologies of fire and the pragmatics of the fire of the hearth, alongside contemporary Australian building codes and the community response to Black Saturday.

‘…a tapestry of personal testimony, historical meditation and mythological reflection that is brilliant, moving
and powerful.’
- Tom Griffiths, author of Forests of Ash


Image of Robert Kenny
Robert Kenny with ADRI Member Jonathan Ritchie, signing copies of his book at the launch.
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Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

19th July 2012