Reconciliation Reading List

Categories

 

Fiction


The White Girl – Tony Birch (2019)

A searing new novel from leading Indigenous storyteller Tony Birch that explores the lengths we will go to in order to save the people we love. Odette Brown has lived her whole life on the fringes of a small country town. After her daughter disappeared and left her with her granddaughter Sissy to raise on her own, Odette has managed to stay under the radar of the welfare authorities who are removing fair-skinned Aboriginal children from their families. When a new policeman arrives in town, determined to enforce the law, Odette must risk everything to save Sissy and protect everything she loves. In The White Girl, Miles-Franklin-shortlisted author Tony Birch shines a spotlight on the 1960s and the devastating government policy of taking Indigenous children from their families.

The Swan Book – Alexis Wright (2013)
The Swan Book is set in the future, with Aboriginals still living under the Intervention in the north, in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change. It follows the life of a mute teenager called Oblivia, the victim of gang-rape by petrol-sniffing youths, from the displaced community where she lives in a hulk, in a swamp filled with rusting boats, and thousands of black swans driven from other parts of the country, to her marriage to Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, and her elevation to the position of First Lady, confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city. The Swan Book has all the qualities which made Wright’s previous novel, Carpentaria, a prize-winning best-seller. It offers an intimate awareness of the realities facing Aboriginal people; the wild energy and humour in her writing finds hope in the bleakest situations; and the remarkable combination of storytelling elements, drawn from myth and legend and fairy tale.
 
Mullumbimby – Melissa Lucashenko (2013)
Told with dark humor and a sharp, satirical eye, Mullumbimby is a modern-day novel about romantic love and cultural warfare set against an ancient land. 

Carpentaria – Alexis Wright  (2006)
Carpentaria’s portrait of life in the precariously settled coastal town of Desperance centres on the powerful Phantom family, whose members are the leaders of the Pricklebush people, it tells of  their battles with old Joseph Midnight’s tearaway Eastend mob on the one hand, and the white officials of Uptown and the neighbouring Gurfurrit mine on the other.

Too Much Lip – Melissa Lucashenko (2018) Also available from our store in hardcopy
Wise-cracking Kerry Salter has spent a lifetime avoiding two things – her hometown and prison. But now her Pop is dying and she’s an inch away from the lockup, so she heads south on a stolen Harley. Kerry plans to spend twenty-four hours, over the border. She quickly discovers, though, that Bundjalung country has a funny way of grabbing on to people. 

Heat and Light – Ellen van Neerven (2014)
In this award-winning work of fiction, Ellen van Neerven takes her readers on a journey that is mythical, mystical, and still achingly real. Over three parts, she takes traditional storytelling and gives it a unique, contemporary twist. In "Heat," we meet several generations of the Kresinger family and the legacy left by the mysterious Pearl. In "Water," a futuristic world is imagined and the fate of a people threatened. In "Light," familial ties are challenged and characters are caught between a desire for freedom and a sense of belonging. Heat and Light presents an intriguing collection while heralding the arrival of an exciting new talent in Australian writing.

The Yield – Tara June Winch (2019)
August Gondiwindi has been living on the other side of the world for ten years when she learns of her grandfather's death. She returns home for his burial, wracked with grief and burdened with all she tried to leave behind. Her homecoming is bittersweet as she confronts the love of her kin and news that Prosperous is to be repossessed by a mining company. Determined to make amends she endeavours to save their land - a quest that leads her to the voice of her grandfather and into the past, the stories of her people, the secrets of the river.
Profoundly moving and exquisitely written, Tara June Winch's The Yield is the story of a people and a culture dispossessed. But it is as much a celebration of what was and what endures, and a powerful reclaiming of Indigenous language, storytelling and identity.
 
Terra Nullius – Claire G. Coleman (2017)
This is an incredible debut from a striking new Australian Aboriginal voice. 'A delightfully duplicitous noodle-bender that flips the script on the Indigenous Australian survival narrative.' - Kirkus Reviews

 

Non Fiction / Biography


Tracker – Alexis Wright (2017) Also available from our store in hardcopy
Tracker Tilmouth returned home to transform the world of Aboriginal politics. He worked tirelessly for Aboriginal self-determination, creating opportunities for land use and economic development in his many roles, including Director of the Central Land Council. His memoir has been composed by Wright from interviews with Tilmouth himself, as well as with Tilmouth's family, friends, and colleagues.

Tell Me Why – Archie Roach (2019) Also available from our store in hardcopy
A powerful memoir of a true Australian legend: stolen child, musical and lyrical genius, and leader. 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. Tell Me Why is a stunning account of resilience and the strength of spirit – and of a great love story.

Talking to My Country – Stan Grant (2016) Also available from our store in hardcopy
Talking to My Country is that rare and special book that talks to every Australian about their country - what it is, and what it could be. It is not just about race, or about Indigenous people but all of us; our shared identity. Direct, honest and forthright, Stan is talking to us all. He might not have all the answers but he wants us to keep on asking the question: how can we be better?

Position Doubtful – Kim Mahood (2016)
Since 2000, writer and artist Kim Mahood has been returning to the Tanami desert country in far north-western Australia where, as a child, she lived with her family on a remote cattle station. The land is timeless, but much has changed: the station has been handed back to its traditional owners; the mining companies have arrived; and Aboriginal art has flourished.
Comedy and tragedy, familiarity and uncertainty are Mahood's constant companions as she immerses herself in the life of a small community and in groundbreaking mapping projects. What emerges in Position Doubtful is a revelation of the significance of the land to its people - and of the burden of history.

Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia  – Anita Heiss (Editor) (2018)
What is it like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia? This anthology, compiled by award-winning author Anita Heiss, showcases many diverse voices, experiences and stories in order to answer that question. Accounts from well-known authors and high-profile identities sit alongside those from newly discovered writers of all ages. All of the contributors speak from the heart – sometimes calling for empathy, oftentimes challenging stereotypes, always demanding respect. This groundbreaking collection will enlighten, inspire and educate about the lives of Aboriginal people in Australia today. Contributors include: Tony Birch, Deborah Cheetham, Adam Goodes, Terri Janke, Patrick Johnson, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Jack Latimore, Celeste Liddle, Amy McQuire, Kerry Reed-Gilbert, Miranda Tapsell, Jared Thomas, Aileen Walsh, Alexis West, Tara June Winch, and many, many more.

Am I Black Enough for You Anita Heiss (2012)
After years of stereotyping Aboriginal Australians as either settlement dwellers or rioters in Redfern, the Australian media have discovered a new crime to charge them with: being too 'fair-skinned' to be an Australian Aboriginal. Such accusations led to Anita's involvement in one of the most important and sensational Australian legal decisions of the 21st-century when she joined others in charging a newspaper columnist with breaching the Racial Discrimination Act. He was found guilty, and the repercussions continue. In this deeply personal memoir, told in her distinctive, wry style, Anita Heiss gives a first-hand account of her experiences as a woman with an Aboriginal mother and Austrian father, and explains the development of her activist consciousness. Read her story and ask: what does it take for someone to be black enough for you?
                                    
The Little Red Yellow Black Book – Bruce Pascoe (2018 –4th edition) Also available from our store in hardcopy
An introduction to Indigenous Australia written from an Indigenous perspective, this highly illustrated and accessible introduction to Australia’s First Peoples covers a range of topics from history, culture and the Arts, through to activism and reconciliation. Published by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), this book is written for those who want to know more about Australia's rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures but don't know where to start.


The First Australians Rachel Perkins (Author), Rachel Perkins (Editor), Marcia Langton (Editor) (2008) Also available as a documentary 
This book is the dramatic story of the collision of two worlds that created contemporary Australia. Told from the perspective of Australia's first peoples, it vividly brings to life the events that unfolded when the oldest living culture in the world was overrun by the world's greatest empire. Seven of Australia's leading historians reveal the true stories of individuals-both black and white-caught in an epic drama of friendship, revenge, loss and victory in Australia's most transformative period of history. Their story begins in 1788 in Warrane, now known as Sydney, with the friendship between an Englishman, Governor Phillip, and the kidnapped warrior Bennelong. It ends in 1993 with Koiki Mabo's legal challenge to the foundation of Australia.

Hidden in Plain View – Paul Irish (2017)
What happened to Sydney's Indigenous people between the devastating impact of white settlement and increased government intervention a century later? Hidden in Plain View shows that Aboriginal people did not disappear. Its readers will never look at Sydney in the same way.
 
From the Edge Australia’s lost histories – Mark McKenna (2016)
In March 1797, five British sailors and 12 Bengali seamen struggled ashore after their longboat broke apart in a storm. Their fellow-survivors from the wreck of the Sydney Cove were stranded more than 500 kilometres southeast in Bass Strait. To rescue their mates and to save themselves, the 19 men must walk 700 kilometres north to Sydney.  That remarkable walk is a story of endurance but also of unexpected Aboriginal help.

 
This Whispering in our Hearts – Henry Reynolds (1998)
Listening to the whispering in his own heart, Henry Reynolds was led into the lives of remarkable and largely forgotten white humanitarians who followed their consciences and challenged the prevailing attitudes to Indigenous people. Revisiting this history, in this new edition Reynolds brings fresh perspectives to issues we grapple with still. Those who argue for justice, reparation, recognition and a treaty will find themselves in solidarity with those who went before. But this powerful book shows how much remains to be done to settle the whispering in our hearts.
 
Forgotten Wars – Henry Reynolds (2013)  Also available from our store in hardcopy
A thorough and systematic account of what caused the frontier wars between white colonists and Aborigines, how many people died and whether the colonists themselves saw frontier conflict as a form of warfare. It is particularly timely as we approach the centenary of WWI. This powerful book makes it clear that there can be no reconciliation without acknowledging the wars fought on our own soil.


The Dreaming and Other Essays W.E.H. Stanner (2009)
W.E.H. Stanner's words changed Australia. Without condescension and without sentimentality, in essays such as “The Dreaming” Stanner conveyed the richness and uniqueness of Aboriginal culture. In his Boyer Lectures, he exposed a ‘cult of forgetfulness practised on a national scale,’ regarding the fate of the Aborigines, for which he coined the phrase ‘the great Australian silence’. And in his essay “Durmugam” he provided an unforgettable portrait of a warrior's attempt to hold back cultural change. ‘He was such a man,’ Stanner wrote. ‘I thought I would like to make the reading world see and feel him as I did.’
The pieces collected here span the career of W.E.H. Stanner as well as the history of Australian race relations. They reveal the extraordinary scholarship, humanity and vision of one of Australia's finest essayists. Their revival is a significant event.
 
Sydney Wars – Stephen Gapps (2018)  Also available from our store in hardcopy
Telling the story of the first years of colonial Sydney in a new and original way, this provocative book is the first detailed account of the warfare that occurred across the Sydney region from the arrival of a British expedition in 1788 to the last recorded conflict in the area in 1817. The Sydney Wars sheds new light on how British and Aboriginal forces developed military tactics and how the violence played out.

Convincing Ground: Learning to fall in love with your country – Bruce Pascoe (2007)
Convincing Ground is a wide ranging, personal and powerful work which resonates with historical and contemporary Australian debates about identity, dispossession, memory and community. For Pascoe, the Australian character was not forged at Gallipoli, Eureka and the back of Bourke, but in the more satanic furnace of Murdering Flat, Convincing Ground and Werribee. He knows we can't reverse the past, but we can bring our soul in from the fog of delusion. He proposes a way forward, beyond shady intellectual argument and immature nationalism: strengths intact; weaknesses acknowledged and addressed. 
 
Because a White Man'll Never Do It – Kevin Gilbert (1973)  Also available from our store in hardcopy
Kevin Gilbert's powerful expose of past and present race relations in Australia is an alarming story of land theft, attempted racial extermination, oppression, denial of human rights, slavery, ridicule, denigration, inequality and paternalism.  First published in 1973, Gilbert's controversial account of Aboriginal affairs paints a disturbing image of the impact of the colonisation of Australia and the ongoing problems faced by the Aboriginal people. 

 

Contemporary Australia – Voice Treaty Truth


Gulpilil – Derek Rielly (2019)
It's been almost fifty years since a teenage David Gulpilil illuminated screens worldwide with his breakout role in Walkabout. It was one of the first times we'd seen an Aboriginal person cast in a significant role and only four years after Holt's referendum to alter the constitution and give Indigenous people citizenship and, subsequently, the right to vote.
Gulpilil quickly became the face of the Indigenous world to white Australian audiences. Charisma. Good looks. A competent, strong, mysterious man starring in films ranging from Crocodile Dundee to Rabbit-Proof Fence.
But what has marked Gulpilil, despite his fame and popularity, is the feeling that he's been forever stuck between two worlds: a Yolngu man, a hunter, a tracker, who grew up in the bush in Arnhem Land outside any white influence; and a movie star flitting from movie sets to festivals.
Able to exist in both worlds, but never truly home.

Australia Day – Stan Grant (2019) Also available from our store in hardcopy
'As uncomfortable as it is, we need to reckon with our history. On January 26, no Australian can really look away.' 
In this book, Australia Day, his long-awaited follow up to Talking to My Country, Stan talks about our country, about who we are as a nation, about the indigenous struggle for belonging and identity in Australia, and what it means to be Australian. A sad, wise, beautiful, reflective and troubled book, Australia Day asks the questions that have to be asked, that no else seems to be asking: Who are we? What is our country? How do we move forward from here?
 
Finding the Heart of the Nation – Thomas Mayor (2019) Also available from our store in hardcopy
This is a book for all Australians. Since the Uluṟu Statement from the Heart was formed in 2017, Thomas Mayor has travelled around the country to promote its vision of a better future for Indigenous Australians. He’s visited communities big and small, often with the Uluṟu Statement canvas rolled up in a tube under his arm.Through the story of his own journey and interviews with 20 key people, Thomas taps into a deep sense of our shared humanity. The voices within these chapters make clear what the Uluru Statement is and why it is so important. Thomas hopes you will be moved to join them, along with the growing movement of Australians who want to see substantive constitutional change. Thomas believes that we will only find the heart of our nation when the First peoples – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders – are recognised with a representative Voice enshrined in the Australian Constitution.
‘Thomas’s compelling work is full of Australian Indigenous voices that should be heard. Read this book, listen to them, and take action.’ – Danny Glover, actor and humanitarian.
 
The Colonial Fantasy Why White Australia Can’t Solve Black Problems – Sarah Maddison (2019)
The Colonial Fantasy considers why Australia persists in the face of such obvious failure. It argues that white Australia can't solve black problems because white Australia is the problem. Australia has resisted the one thing that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people want, and the one thing that has made a difference elsewhere: the ability to control and manage their own lives. It calls for a radical restructuring of the relationship between black and white Australia.
 
The Tall Man – Chloe Hooper (2008)
The story of a death, a policeman, an island and a country
The Tall Man is the story of Palm Island, the tropical paradise where one morning Cameron Doomadgee swore at a policeman and forty minutes later lay dead in a watch-house cell. It is the story of that policeman; the tall, enigmatic Christopher Hurley who chose to work in some of the toughest and wildest places in Australia, and of the struggle to bring him to trial. Above all, it is a story in luminous detail of two worlds clashing – and a haunting moral puzzle that no reader will forget.
 
The Australian Dream, Quarterly Essay – Stan Grant (2016)
In a landmark essay, Stan Grant writes Indigenous people back into the economic and multicultural history of Australia. This is the fascinating story of how fringe dwellers fought not just to survive, but to prosper. Their legacy is the extraordinary flowering of Indigenous success – cultural, sporting, intellectual and social – that we see today.
Yet this flourishing co-exists with the boys of Don Dale, and the many others like them who live in the shadows of the nation. Grant examines how such Australians have been denied the possibilities of life, and argues eloquently that history is not destiny; that culture is not static. In doing so, he makes the case for a more capacious Australian Dream.

First Things First – Julianne Schultz (Editor), Sandra Phillips (Editor) (2018)
Inspired by the Uluru Statement from the Heart, and featuring outstanding Indigenous writers, First Things First is an urgent, nuanced and robust call to listen, hear and respond to questions of constitutional recognition.
More than two centuries after European settlers arrived, the need to find an honourable way to recognise and celebrate the unique history of this country as home to the oldest living civilisation is long overdue. A Makaratta Commission is the preferred way to do this; to make agreements and enable truth-telling about our history. Are we ready to make peace and devise firmer ground for laws, policies and outcomes that improve Indigenous and non-Indigenous life in Australia? With this special edition, Griffith Review excavates history and re-imagines the future, while not forgetting the urgency of the present.

 

First Nations Culture & Society – Pre & Post Invasion


First Footprints: The epic story of the First Australians – Scott Cane (2013) Also available as a documentary
First Footprints tells the epic story of Australia's Aboriginal people. It is a story of ancient life on the driest continent on earth through the greatest environmental changes experienced in human history: ice ages, extreme drought and inundating seas. It is chronicled through astonishing archaeological discoveries, ancient oral histories and the largest and oldest art galleries on earth. Australia's first inhabitants were the first people to believe in an afterlife, cremate their dead, engrave representations of the human face, and depict human sound and emotion. They created new technologies, designed ornamentation, engaged in trade, and crafted the earliest documents of war. Ultimately, they developed a sustainable society based on shared religious tradition and far-reaching social networks across the length and breadth of Australia.

Salt: Selected Stories and Essays – Bruce Pascoe (2019)
This volume of Bruce Pascoe's best and most celebrated stories and essays, collected here for the first time, traverses his long career and explores his enduring fascination with Australia's landscape, culture and history.
Featuring new fiction alongside Pascoe's most revered and thought-provoking nonfiction - including from his modern classic Dark Emu - Salt distils the intellect, passion and virtuosity of his work. It's time all Australians know the range and depth of this most marvellous of our writers.

Dark Emu Bruce Pascoe (2014) Also available from our store in hardcopy
‘Dark Emu injects a profound authenticity into the conversation about how we Australians understand our continent ... [It is] essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what Australia once was, or what it might yet be if we heed the lessons of long and sophisticated human occupation.’ Judges for 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary AwardsDark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating, and storing — behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage, in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie. Almost all the evidence in Dark Emu comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources.

Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World  Tyson Yunkaporta (2019)
Sand Talk provides a template for living. It’s about how lines and symbols and shapes can help us make sense of the world. It’s about how we learn and how we remember. It’s about talking to everybody and listening carefully. It’s about finding different ways to look at things.
Most of all it’s about Indigenous thinking, and how it can save the world.

Writing the Country – Ashley Hay (Editor), Julianne Schultz (Editor) (2018)
Place. Land. Country. Home. 
These words frame the settings of our stories. In 2019, Griffith Review 63: Writing the Country focuses on Australia’s vast raft of environments to investigate how these places are changing and what they might become; what is flourishing and what is at risk.
The environmental vocabulary of our times requires dramatic terms: extinctions and endings; tipping points and collapses; bottlenecks and cascade effects. In recent years the genre applied to stories of place has morphed from ‘nature writing’ through ‘new nature writing’ to ‘post-nature writing’, and the relationship between people and their environment has shifted from one of innocence to one of anxiety. Is this simply an urban age? Or is it fundamentally different? Is this the anthropocene, capitalocene, eramocene, homogenocene? And is it still possible to dream of ecotopias somewhere further down the track?
Whatever the labels or language, how we speak and the world we live in requires us to make sense of where we are and where we’re going, describing, interrogating and analysing from the smallest to the grandest of scales.
In the second issue of Griffith Review, published in 2004, Melissa Lucashenko wrote of ‘earthspeaking, talking about this place, my home’. All these years later, the need to hear all sorts of earthspeak has perhaps never been more urgent.

The Biggest Estate on Earth – Bill Gammage (2012)  Also available from our store in hardcopy
With details of land-management strategies from around Australia, The Biggest Estate on Earth rewrites the history of this continent, with huge implications for us today. Once Aboriginal people were no longer able to tend their country, it became overgrown and vulnerable to the hugely damaging bushfires we now experience. And what we think of as virgin bush in a national park is nothing of the kind.

Welcome to Country – Marcia Langton (2018) Also available from our store in hardcopy
Author, Professor Marcia Langton, offers fascinating insights into Indigenous languages and customs, history, native title, art and dance, storytelling, and cultural awareness and etiquette for visitors. There is also a directory of Indigenous tourism experiences, organised by state or territory, covering galleries and festivals, national parks and museums, communities that are open to visitors, as well as tours and performances. 
 
On Track Searching out the Bundian Way – John Blay (2015)
On Track tells the story of John Blay’s long-distance search for the Bundian Way, an important Aboriginal pathway between Mt Kosciuszko and Twofold Bay near Eden on the New South Wales far south coast. The 360-kilometre route traverses some of the nation’s most remarkable landscapes, from the highest place on the continent to the ocean. 
This epic bushwalking story uncovers the history, country and rediscovery of this significant track. Now heritage-listed, and thanks to the work of Blay and local Indigenous communities, the Bundian Way is set to be one of the great Australian walks.
 
My People’s Dreaming An Aboriginal Elder speaks on life, land, spirit and forgiveness – Max Dulumunmun Harrison and Peter McConchie. PDF (2009)
My People’s Dreaming is drawn from extensive interviews with Uncle Max, an Aboriginal elder of the Yuin people, who lived throughout the south coast of New South Wales. He says that the teachings he reveals are "the living treasures of my life".
With My People’s Dreaming you get a rare, personal insight into the traditional teachings of an Aboriginal elder of the Yuin people, and a photographic tour through his country by photographer Peter McConchie.
In a significant section of the book, Uncle Max takes the reader through a description of the Creation story in Yuin culture. Through photos and words, he reveals the significance of the giant stone beings on top of Gulaga, the sacred mountain that has now been returned to the custodianship of his people. His teachings cover the Yuin people’s Creation Dreaming, bush lore, foods, healing, laws and punishment, spirituality and the significance of relationship to land. In passing on traditional wisdom Uncle Max focuses on three truths: 
See the land … the beauty;
Hear the land ... the story;
Feel the land … the spirit.
Uncle Max has been sharing his cultural knowledge for over 30 years. In that time, he has taken more than 6,000 people from all walks of life onto country and explained Aboriginal ways.

Songlines and Fault Lines Epic walks of the Red Centre – Glenn Morrison (2017)
Visitors to the Red Centre come looking for the real Australia, but find a place both beautiful and disturbing. There is wilderness, desire and artworks depicting an Aboriginal philosophy of home. But there is also the confusing countenance of the Australian frontier, a meeting place between black and white, ancient and modern.
Songlines and Fault Lines explores the Red Centre on foot, through six remarkable stories that have shaped our nation. It follows Aboriginal Dreamtime ancestors along a songline and trudges with John McDouall Stuart as he crosses the continent, and walks the Finke River in the footsteps of anthropologist TGH Strehlow. It keeps pace with conservationist Arthur Groom as he reimagines the country's heart as a tourist playground, ponders a philosophy of walking with British travel writer Bruce Chatwin, and then strolls the grog-troubled streets of Alice Springs with Eleanor Hogan.
Retracing time-worn pathways and stories of Australia's centre, Glenn Morrison finds fresh answers to age-old queries. 

Deep Time Dreaming – Billy Griffith (2018)
Soon after Billy Griffiths joins his first archaeological dig as camp manager and cook, he is hooked. Equipped with a historian’s inquiring mind, he embarks on a journey through time, seeking to understand the extraordinary deep history of the Australian continent.
Deep Time Dreaming is the passionate product of that journey. It investigates a twin revolution: the reassertion of Aboriginal identity in the second half of the twentieth century, and the uncovering of the traces of ancient Australia.

 

Poetry

Blak Work – Alison Whittaker (2016)
A stunning mix of memoir, reportage, fiction, satire, and critique composed by a powerful new voice in poetry. Alison Whittaker’s BLAKWORK is an original and unapologetic collection from which two things emerge; an incomprehensible loss, and the poet’s fearless examination of the present. Whittaker is unsparing in the interrogation of familiar ideas – identifying and dissolving them with idiosyncratic imagery, layering them to form new connections, and reinterpreting what we know.
 
Comfort Food – Ellen van Neerven (2018)
Let me tell you with my skin Under the earth we will find Whole lot. It's all of those things. In this fresh and distinctive collection, Comfort Food offers a close inward focus and an exquisite sensitivity which bridges van Neerven's Indigenous and non-Indigenous heritage. The melding of cultural experiences offers access to a unique and vibrant bicultural experience. The textures and sensuality of the poems' imagery create a portrait of a young woman's life and her exploration of body and mind. A stunning poetry debut from an immensely talented author.

 

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