Once again Twitter brings me news of a great book to read! Thanks to @UQPbooks, I discovered yesterday that the 2014 winner of the David Unaipon AwardOnce again Twitter brings me news of a great book to read! Thanks to @UQPbooks, I discovered yesterday that the 2014 winner of the David Unaipon Award has just been released. And when I realised what it was about, I just had to have it… Yes, *blush* I succumbed to buying it for my Kindle, so that I could begin reading it straight away.
Many would agree that “a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay”, and that whether you’re black or white, everyone should get paid for their labour,’ […] Not to receive all of your wages or savings for an honest day’s work is an injustice for any worker, regardless of skin colour.
Not Just Black and White by Lesley Williams and Tammy Williams, University of Queensland Press, 2015, Kindle locations 3449-3456.
I had heard a little bit about the ‘stolen wages’ scandal in Queensland, but I didn’t know much about it. Not Just Black and White puts a human face on the issue. Lesley Williams was one of the thousands of Aboriginals farmed out to work unpaid, under the auspices of so-called Protection:
Probably, one of the more infamous pieces of legislation introduced by the Queensland authorities was the Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act 1897 (Qld). This Act created the positions of Protectors of Aboriginals, and in 1904, the Office of the Chief Protector of Aboriginals.
The 1897 Act and the subsequent amending Acts of 1901, 1927, 1928 and 1934 gave the Chief Protector of Aboriginals, as well as the individual Protectors, enormous control over almost all aspects of the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland, and vast quantities of records were created on the thousands of individuals who were subject to this legislation.
See State Library of Queensland
Far from the stereotypical view of Aborigines being welfare dependants, these Aborigines who worked as stockmen, shearers and labourers, or as domestic servants, as Lesley Williams did, contributed to the development of Australian pastoral and agricultural industries for over a century, under a system which sequestered the wages of the Aborigines. Under this system, girls like Lesley were trained for domestic labour at the Cherbourg Mission and as teenagers were sent away from their families to work. Under the terms of the contract, in which Lesley had no say, it was up to the discretion of her employer to pay ‘pocket money’ and the rest was, by law, required to be deposited as ‘savings’ in a state-owned bank account. But no passbook was issued, and none of the ‘savings’ were ever returned to the person who’d earned them.
Fog a Dox is another addition to the reviews of children’s books which I’m contributing to Indigenous Literature Week that I’ve been hosting on my ANZFog a Dox is another addition to the reviews of children’s books which I’m contributing to Indigenous Literature Week that I’ve been hosting on my ANZ LitLovers Blog.
Bruce Pascoe, of Bunerong-Tasmanian heritage, is an award-winning indigenous author, editor and compiler of anthologies. (I have a copy of his adult novel Earth on my TBR and will be reading it soon.) In addition to writing a number of novels and non-fiction books for adults, he has also published a Wathaurong dictionary to support the retrieval and teaching of the Wathaurong language in south-western Victoria. His other children’s novel, The Chainsaw File, was released in 2011.
A chapter book suitable for 10-14 year old readers, Fog a Dox tells the story of Albert Cutts, a tree-feller who despite the disapproval of others keeps a ‘dox’: a fox cub raised by a Albert’s dingo Brim. Albert lives a solitary life as a bushman until he has an accident which changes everything …
Will you believe me if I say that I picked it up The Handbook late last night after I had finished readiThis is a fantastic book! Get yourself a copy!
Will you believe me if I say that I picked it up The Handbook late last night after I had finished reading Patricia Grace’s Cousins just to have a look at the introduction before turning out the light, and found myself reading the entire book instead? It’s true. I couldn’t stop reading it…
I did already know I was going to be interested, I had heard the authors discuss the book with Patricia Karvelas in The Drawing Room on Radio National. I knew it wasn’t yet another book about the science of climate change so that you can have arguments with climate change deniers, it was, as the title implies, a book about what to do to make life bearable now that climate change is upon us. How to make your life better in the 2° rise-in-temperature scenario, which is now inescapable. How to prepare for that, because it’s happening in your lifetime, in your own little house in the suburbs or wherever. Yes, present tense, not future tense. Noticeable changes now, and only going to get worse even if a miracle happened and our witless politicians started doing something to prevent it getting to the 4° rise-in-temperature scenario. But, well, I admit it, I was expecting The Handbook to be a bit worthy. I was expecting it to be a bit dull.
I have just finished reading One Foot Wrong for our ANZLL discussion which starts next week, and I don’t know what to write about this book.
It’s abouI have just finished reading One Foot Wrong for our ANZLL discussion which starts next week, and I don’t know what to write about this book.
It’s about a child whose parents are religious nutters, and it’s written from her POV, repeating the things they say to her in a macabre sort of echo. The parents abuse her physically and mentally, and some really shocking things happen.
I find myself wondering why someone would want to tell a story like this. I’m not suggesting that it shouldn’t be done; there’s a place for this kind of writing even if I don’t enjoy reading it. I just don’t understand why an author would feel compelled to put herself through the experience of vicariously living such horrors. In an interview, Laguna explains the difficulty she had when writing it – having to write in short bursts because of needing to get away from it – but it doesn’t explain her motivation for wanting to write it in the first place or continuing with it when it was causing distress.
Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin but I didn't like it. Too much syrupy symbolism, IMO and indigestible prose. But lots of other people loved it, soShortlisted for the Miles Franklin but I didn't like it. Too much syrupy symbolism, IMO and indigestible prose. But lots of other people loved it, so don't take any notice of me. ...more