Not many have lived as many lives as Archie Roach – stolen child, seeker, teenage alcoholic, lover, father, musical and lyrical genius, and leader – but it took him almost a lifetime to find out who he really was.
Roach was only two years old when he was forcibly removed from his family. Brought up by a series of foster parents until his early teens, his world imploded when he received a letter that spoke of a life he had no memory of.
In this intimate, moving and often shocking memoir, Archie’s story is an extraordinary odyssey through love and heartbreak, family and community, survival and renewal – and the healing power of music. Overcoming enormous odds to find his story and his people, Archie voices the joy, pain and hope he found on his path through song to become the legendary singer-songwriter and storyteller that he is today – beloved by fans worldwide.
Tell Me Why is a stunning account of resilience and the strength of spirit – and of a great love story.
Tell Me Why is the story of Archie Roach’s life. It talks about his life growing up in foster care after being removed from his family and his subsequent search for them. It traces Roach’s battles with addiction, firstly alcohol and then gunja.
I always felt like I understood the stolen generation and the trauma that it brought indigenous people. However, after reading Roach’s story it highlighted that my understanding was academic and somewhat superficial. It also gave a new appreciation for Roach’s music.
One of the things to note about the book is that even through adversity, there is humour throughout, whether it be Paul Kelly being referred to as a security guard or deep freeze diving at Woolworths.
Listening to Roach read the book made it even more powerful too.