Familiar and strange, Charlotte Graham

Deleted Scenes for Lovers
Tracey Slaughter
Victoria University Press, $30.00,
ISBN 9781776560585

In almost a decade in journalism, I’ve spent a long time sitting in courtrooms. The people whose lives play out in front of a judge seem at first an easy measure, but after a while you realise you’re looking at one of those Rorschach blots. Concentrate on the prosecutor’s summary of facts and you see one image; hear, later, the slowly unfolding grief that led those involved to this point, and the image you felt so confident of is turned on its head. You realise, after a while, that it’s not the bits written on a police charge sheet that brought everyone here; not really. It’s everything that happened off-screen, sometimes years ago; sometimes generations.

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