The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen (Krissy Kneen, Text)
According to many writers, examining memory is a largely creative act. If so, then Krissy Kneen shows us in The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen that it is also an act of daring and great courage. A mixture of memoir, travelogue, recipes, poetry, fable and myth, this new book from the prize-winning author explores her grief and search for identity after the death of her beloved grandmother. The journey to find a resting place for Lotty’s ashes takes Kneen from Dragonhall in Central Queensland to Slovenia and onto Alexandria in Egypt. Here she discovers her link to the Aleksandrinke women, multilingual Slovenian women who sacrificed everything to work for wealthy Italians only to be displaced again in the 1950s. Taught by her maternal family never to ask questions about the past, Kneen instead pursues the truths that her DNA might reveal about the secrets hidden in her own flesh and blood. These truths connect her to places and people far beyond her childhood home, yet that are strangely familiar. The Three Burials of Lotty Kneen takes the reader on a page-turning journey of discovery aided by science, serendipity and strangers. This is an evocative and poignant exploration of memory and a fitting tribute to a cherished family member.
Megan O’Brien is a freelance reviewer who has worked as a bookseller.