Diversify your reading list by incorporating these First Nations books and authors into the mix. Get a hold of one of these books and find a comfy nook to spend hours learning about our beautiful rich First Nations culture and history and be proud to call yourself an Australian.
1.Too Much Lip – This 2019 Miles Franklin Award-winning novel, written by Melissa Lugashenko of Bundjalung and European descent, is one to grab and read now. This Goorie author's latest novel, after the success of Mullumbimby is full of dark witty humour. This beautifully written novel shines a light on the real issues of racism, inequality and land rights as a family grapples with multi-generational personal and social issues. Set in South-Eastern Queensland, it follows Kerry Salter as she returns home to visit her dying Poppy. Too Much Lip reiterates the importance of family and all of its annoying idiosyncrasies.
2.Dark Emu - The informative book written by Bruce Pascoe, challenges colonial history as we know it. This Bunurong man has won Book of the Year in the 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards and the Indigenous Writer's Prize at the 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, (just to name a few) for Dark Emu . The book argues that Aboriginals were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing, prior to colonial settlement. Following the success of Dark Emu , Bruce Pascoe has recently released a children's book called Young Dark Emu, suitable for children ten years and up. These two books are a great read to further understand our nation's history, landscape and environment.
3. Welcome To Country: A Travel Guide To Indigenous Australia – Professor Marcia Langton's new book is an easy guidebook for anyone wanting to start from scratch and understand Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders. Professor Marcia Langton breaks down and explains terminology, Indigenous languages, customs, history, native title, art, dance, storytelling, cultural awareness and appropriate etiquette. This book is for everyone, to learn and refer to as a guide, be it to explore tourism sites, galleries, festivals, Indigenous communities that are open to the public, tours and performances. Finally, a child-friendly book is also available called Welcome To Country: An Introduction to our First peoples for young Australians, which covers the same content as well as The Stolen Generation.
4.Eelahroo (Long Ago), Nyah (Looking), Mobo-Mobo (Future) – This award-winning author Lionel G. Fogarty is one of Australia's most prolific poets and First Nations political activists. As a Yugambeh man, Fogarty was born on the Cherbourg Aboriginal Reserve in Queensland and describes unapologetically the political and social injustices and his optimism of the future in a humorous and at times, intensely hard-hitting poetic manner. This 2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards Shortlisted book of poetry is worth checking out, with poems such as; 'Non-Pain In Rain', 'Federation Still Lied', '1967 Encouraged the Right Vote Now?' and 'Murgon Brawl Cherbourg Brawls' to read and reread his wise and at times riddling prose.
5. The Swan Book– Alexis Wright will make you cry, laugh and shock you to your core in her book The Swan Book. This multi award-winning author doesn't shy away from the hard issues that plague our current society, with a futuristic look at Aboriginals still living under the Northern Territory Intervention, in an environment that is altered by climate change (does this sound familiar or what?) This energetic story is like a modern-day legend or fairytale that needs to be adapted to the big screen (hint, hint!). The story follows Oblivia, a mute teenager, who is the victim of gang-rape by petrol-sniffing youths. This beautiful but horrific story provides optimism in some of the bleakest of places, as she becomes the First Lady to the first Aboriginal president of Australia. This beautifully crafted book captures everything that is pure and unique about Aboriginal and Australian culture and heritage but spins and twists it around, which encourages the reader to think and become more socially conscious.