‘Grounded in Truth’: Young Dark Emu

It was Reconciliation Week last week in Australia and this year’s theme was ‘grounded in truth’. It highlighted Aboriginal and Torres Train Islander peoples’ call for a process of truth-telling about Australia’s colonial history as a way of healing historical wounds. Because let’s face it, someone has to – there’s a leadership void where the political classes are concerned (apart from in Victoria, of course).

While this country remains in deep denial about the trauma white settlers visited on this continent (just change Australia Day goddammit!!), I figure one small, small way that I can contribute to reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Indigenous Australians is to educate myself better about the wrongs of the past and to understand their impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. I shake my head whenever I reflect that I never learned anything about this trauma during my decades of formal Australian education.

Young Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe is the perfect entry point for this. By reexamining journals and drawings from early Australian settlers and explorers, Bruce Pascoe paints a radically different picture of Aboriginal people and their culture.

Hisashiburi! 久しぶり

As the Japanese would say, hisashiburi! It’s been a long time!

I’ve had all sorts of blogging trouble-malware, hosting issues, subscriber stuff ups-dating right back to November.

I’ve been quite cross about the whole debacle.

But I like to think that it’s all behind me now, and it’s happy days from here on in.

Stayed tuned for your regular tea and book news. There’s a lot to catch up on.

Hisashiburi! 久しぶり

As the Japanese would say, hisashiburi! It’s been a long time!

I’ve had all sorts of blogging trouble-malware, hosting issues, subscriber stuff ups-dating right back to November.

I’ve been quite cross about the whole debacle.

But I like to think that it’s all behind me now, and it’s happy days from here on in.

Stayed tuned for your regular tea and book news. There’s a lot to catch up on.

 

Six characters I’ve love to have a drink with

I love characters that are so well-crafted I need to remind myself they’re fictional. All good novels have at least one such character.

If I did bump into one of these super-fictional characters at the supermarket, I’d be at a loss to know what to say. More hopefully I’d spy them at the local pub. Then I could buy them a drink and we’d easily settle into convivial chat.

Here are six characters from books I’ve read lately that I hope to run into at my local. I’d shout them their drink of choice. It’d be great craic.

A pushmi-pullyu book: The Way of All Flesh

Anyone who knows me, or this blog, knows that I’m a sucker for historical fiction. Since I picked up Alias Grace many (many) moons ago, I’ll always choose historical fiction over any other genre. So I was a warm target for The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry. Set in the 1840s, it fuses the medical world of Edinburgh with a series of violent crimes against women to produce an unusual historical crime novel.

Despite many 5 star reviews, publicity for the book seems overly reliant on the kudos of its authors. ‘Ambrose Parry’ is a pseudonym for a collaboration between the renowned Scottish author Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman, a consultant anaesthetist. But does it work?