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Talking To My Country

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  2,714 ratings  ·  328 reviews
An extraordinarily powerful and personal meditation on race, culture and national identity.

In July 2015, as the debate over Adam Goodes being booed at AFL games raged and got ever more heated and ugly, Stan Grant wrote a short but powerful piece for The Guardian that went viral, not only in Australia but right around the world, shared over 100,000 times on social media. Hi
Hardcover, 230 pages
Published February 22nd 2016 by HarperCollins - AU
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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 ·  2,714 ratings  ·  328 reviews

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April (Aprilius Maximus)
Every Australian needs to go and pick up this book right now and if you're not Australian and want to educate yourself on Australia's history and the injustices that still take place in our country today against the original owners of this land, then read this book.
What happened in this country needs to be recognised and discussed and not swept under the rug. In 1788, British people invaded a land they already knew was inhabited and massacred thousands of people. Years later, they stole Indigen
Mark Howden
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really got a lot out of reading this. It doesn't aim solve our problems here in Australia but that wasn't its purpose. But what it does do is a damn good job of highlighting the cultural inequalities between white and Indigenous Australians.
Writing with passion and purpose, Stan is simply showing us the challenges he faced growing up identified as indigenous. He admits through the hard work of his parents and a few circumstances of timing he was able to tread a path to success that was away f
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Australian Aborigines Flag Indigenous Aust

Talking to My Country is a beautifully, exquisitely written book. Part memoir, part missive, Stan Grant writes openly and passionately about what it was like to grow up Aboriginal in Australia. What it is like to feel you are different. What it is like to feel you do not belong. What it is like to feel you don't have a country.

In this book, Stan Grant writes about the history of his people and about the settling of Australia by the British. Indigenous peoples were forced off their land, brutall
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. It's almost 4AM. I couldn't put this book down. I should probably get some sleep before I collect my thoughts on this but how on earth could I give this book anything less than 5 stars?!? ...more
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When I first picked this up I thought "oh it's only short, I'll probably finish this in a night." How wrong I was. Every page required quiet reflection before I could move on. Sometimes I found myself staring off into space, the previous paragraph whirring around my mind. If this is what it's like in Stan Grant's mind all the time no wonder he is often perceived as aloof or standoffish, I suspect his mind is just racing at a million miles an hour.

Obviously, reading this book, I have a vastly di
Holy wow.

This book is ridiculously powerful. Grant takes key moments from his life and uses them as jumping off points to discuss topics like Indigenous history, the treatment of Indigenous people by both Australia's white population and the Federal Government, Indigenous mental health, and racism in twenty first century Australia.

It's a heartbreaking book. It's beautifully written. I feel like I highlighted about half the book. I cried about ten times. Every Australian should read this book. H
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, non-fiction
We know indigenous Australians have poorer outcomes on a whole host of measures. We know they have lower longevity. We know there is poorer health. We know infant mortality is higher. We know they are more likely to be imprisoned. We know their children are more likely to be in care. I could continue this list on and on, but this country seemed paralysed at recognising and acting on what those statistics tell us.

Whilst Grant covers what the statistics tell us, first and foremost this is a book t
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent, excellent, excellent book!

Such an important book for any Australian to read (or really for anyone wishing to know more about growing up Aboriginal in Australia and the ongoing impact of racism and its history in our country). Stan Grant writes with passion, vividly describing his youth, family history and then experiences as a journalist. He writes about the connection to the land and his ancestors, as well as the atrocities committed against them. He writes about poor government poli
The book that every Australian must read.

Part autobiography, part memoir and part history Stan Grant with his stunning prose talks to his country as a means of self-reflection. We as readers are lucky enough to be able to read this self-reflection and take part in it, as we too turn to look at Australia in a new light.

General thoughts
- His writing style is mesmerizing and makes the work both thought provoking and engaging.
- He paints Indigenous culture for what it is- both sacred and beaut
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Adam Goodes made me aware of the ignorance and bigotry of white Australia. Stan Grant helped me understand what it is to be a black Australian. I still don't know what to do about it though. No answers, only understanding and it just doesn't feel like it's enough. ...more
Andrew Carr
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
The ideal book review is written by someone who knows more than the author. They set the story in context, they point out missed connections, and tie it to a broader story. This is not one of those reviews. I know precious little of what Stan Grant speaks, and understand even less. Not only in the history spoken of, but in some ways how the author connects to that history is also foreign to me.

Talking to My Country is part memoir of his family, part plea to understand what his people have been
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
My book reviews are generally a bit tongue-in-cheek. You know, a bit of back and forth, a bit of piss-taking.

Not today. Because Talking To My Country is too serious for fucking about.

There's a certain type of shock-jock that would suggest this book (and others focusing on Australia's thorny, sometimes hopeless-seeming struggle to make sense of our national identity) be written off as black armband history. That it's something designed to make people feel guilty for being white, for crimes comm
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've known that this book was out for some time, but was put off reading it. Maybe because Stan Grant looms largest in my consciousness as the host of Today Tonight in the 1990s - a program with the distinction of having both ruined many lives, and spread a fair bit of oft-racist disinformation. But several people with similar taste to me told me I needed to read it, and I can see why. Even a couple of weeks after I finished, the book still sounds in my eyes.

Firstly, this is a powerfully, carefu
A sobering read.

I went through school in the forgotten history generation. I was in year 5 during the bicentenary and we all dressed up as white settlers and convicts. The version of history we were taught was one of peaceful “settlement” and I can’t even remember if aboriginal perspectives were included at all.

It wasn’t until I did my teaching masters that I learned the true story of colonization. I wrote essays on the frontier wars, the stolen generations, the high rates of indigenous incarc
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Stan Grant’s new book, Talking to My Country has had a lot of publicity, so I bought a copy to see what the noise was about.

It’s well-named. It’s straight talking to Australians, about what it means to be Aboriginal in this country. It’s Stan Grant’s personal and family history, placed in the context of Australia’s national and social history.

And because Stan Grant has ‘made it’ in mainstream Australian society and on the international stage, it will have resonance with people who might otherwis
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Full review to come, however this book is incredible, it is a must read for all Australians, important and worthwhile observations and facts of what it is to be Aboriginal in Australia. I can't imagine a people more resilient (other than the Irish of course) This is such an important book for people to read. ...more
Millie May
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads, favorites
This book is just amazing. It really opened up my eyes to the injustices that people face in the country that I live in. I highly recommend everyone - no matter where they are from read it. It teaches you to stop and think before you say, or post, or write something.
Annalese Summerson
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really, really enjoyed this. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is due to the fact that I felt it jumped around a bit too much, bringing me out of the book to try to keep track of what country we were in, or what age the author was. ...more
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book by Stan Grant. It is easy to read, yet hits hard at the truths we as a nation and a people are so good at glancing over. I think it should be required reading in all Australian high schools. Stan Grant takes us on a journey through his history (our own Australian history) but is never preachy, never angry (although he does acknowledge his anger) and never behaves as a victim or asks to be treated in any way like one. He shares his understanding of what it is like to grow ...more
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've been meaning to read Stan Grant's book for a long time, and I'm stoked that I finally got around to it.
Stan Grant is a truly inspirational person. He endured a tough childhood where he constantly battled with his identity and moving around. His parents were hard-working and loving, but struggled. Grant shares the journey he took to become a world renowned journalist, along with the highs and lows of an extremely demanding job.

I found it easy to connect with this text. It's incredibly emot
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reviews
“What does it feel like to be an indigenous person in Australia?”

This is the question journalist Stan Grant wrestles with in a radio interview upon his return to Australia after a decade working overseas. It’s the same question he wrestles with in Talking to My Country, a heartfelt and deeply personal memoir about what it is to be an Aboriginal growing up in Australia.

To read the rest of my review, please visit my blog.

Kim Miller
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ok, so I made the mistake of reading this straight after 'The tears of strangers.' Do yourself a favour - don't do that. 'Talking to my country', if read alone, would be a 5 star book. A book that all Australian's should read. And think about. And talk about.

But after reading 'The tears of strangers' I found this one super repetitive. I'm not sure why Grant needed to write two books. Perhaps a re-release of 'Tears of strangers' with a prologue and epilogue might have been more effective?

But ign
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A must read book for all Australians. A beautiful book that mixes memoir with facts, and it's mostly a tale of remembering. It's like Between the World and Me but easier to grasp from a narrative point of view. Do read it. ...more
Feb 21, 2016 added it
It's difficult to give this book a rating as it is such a personal story. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about what it means to be indigenous in Australia today. Thank you Stan for writing it. ...more
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking, at times shocking and very personal, this is a real Australian history. Just read it.
Jake Goretzki
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016

A valuable and very personal memoir-cum-meditation on indigenous identity and racism in Australia, providing a useful 'catch up' on recent developments, including the Adam Goodes story. Stylistically it's very autobiographical. Really rather dignified and sober.

I've been reading about Australia and its racial 'baggage', on and off, for years - and it never seems to go away. One moment there's cause for optimism (Keating's speech, apologies, etc); the next a footballer's being booed wherever he
Pip  Tlaskal
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
This reads like a very long, very important speech that needs to be listened to again and again before we finally get what has happened to the First People of this land. Very sad and powerfully affecting. Also shows the power of books. All of the places he lived as a child, he always found books and these have led him to open up to the great wide world where he was drawn to races with stories like his own. Sobering too, to read the deep and delayed psychological effect racism has on people which ...more
Karen Hunt
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A powerful book that uses personal experience and current affairs to articulate the author’s experience of life as an Aboriginal man in Australia and overseas. Whilst this is one person’s experience, it includes the stories of many other Aboriginal people and captures the reality of life that much of Australia is blind to or overlooks. An important book, particularly for those who don’t know a lot about Aboriginal history (and present) in Australia.
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Stan Grant is a familiar face for most Australians but this book will provide insights into a life few would be aware of. This book will provide many uncomfortable moments for white Australians as it shines a light on the persistent and endemic nature of racism in this country. This is a brutally honest account that should be required reading by all Australians (and pretty much everyone else)
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