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  • Hachette Australia
  • Hachette Australia
  • Hachette Australia

Ghosts of the Orphanage

Christine Kenneally

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True crime, True stories: discovery / historical / scientific, True stories of heroism, endurance & survival

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2023 WALKLEY BOOK AWARD

A shocking expose of the dark, secret history of Catholic orphanages - the violence, abuse, and even murder that took place within their walls - and a call to hold the powerful to account.

Ghosts of the Orphanage is the result of ten years of investigation by award-winning journalist Christine Kenneally. What she has uncovered is shocking, yet it was all hiding in plain sight.

Terrible things, abuse, both physical and psychological, and even deaths have happened in orphanages all over the world for many years. The survivors have been telling what happened to them for a long time, but no one has been listening. Authorities have too often been unwilling to accept their stories. And a victim's options for recourse have been limited by the years it has taken many survivors to process their trauma, tell their stories, and pursue legal action.

Centering on St. Joseph's, a Catholic orphanage in Vermont, Kenneally investigates and shares the stories of survivors. She has fought to expose the truth and hold the powerful - many of them Catholic priests and nuns - to account. And it is working. As these stories have come to light, the laws in Vermont have been forced to change, including the statute of limitations on prosecuting them.

Told with human compassion, novelistic detail and a powerful sense of purpose, Ghosts of the Orphanage is not only a gripping story but a reckoning. It is proof that real evil lurks at the edges of our society, and that, if we have the courage, we can bring it into the light and defeat it.

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Q&A with Author Christine Kenneally

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Q&A with Author Christine Kenneally

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Christine Kenneally

Christine Kenneally is an award-winning Australian journalist and author who has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Slate, Time, and other publications. Her BuzzFeed story about crimes committed at St. Joseph's Orphanage was viewed more than six million times in six months. It won a Deadline Award and was a finalist for a National Magazine Award, a Michael Kelly Award and an Online Journalism Award. It was shortlisted for the Fetisov Prize. Her most recent book, The Invisible History of the Human Race was a New York Times Notable Book of 2014, shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Queensland Premier's Literary Award. Kenneally has lived in New York, Iowa, and England, where she earned a Ph.D. in linguistics from Cambridge University. She lives in Melbourne.

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