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Salt: Selected Essays and Stories

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  189 ratings  ·  31 reviews
A collection of stories and essays by the award-winning author of Dark Emu, showcasing his shimmering genius across a lifetime of work.

Bruce Pascoe has been described as a ‘living national treasure’ and his work as ‘revelatory’. This volume of his best and most celebrated stories and essays, collected here for the first time, ranges across his long career, and explores his
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by Black Inc.
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A cri de coeur from Australian iconoclast Bruce Pascoe, Salt is a compilation of 35 short pieces — both fiction and non-fiction — written at various times throughout his long career of reframing mainstream Australia’s narrative of our First Peoples.

Having discovered Pascoe via his brilliant nonfiction book Dark Emu, I was expecting the polemical essays in this collection to be great, and they are. But I was totally unprepared for the quiet beauty of the stories. They are tender portraits of
Ron Brown
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had heard about Pascoe’s “Dark Emu” and it was on my “to read” list. Early in August the SMH ran an article about Pascoe, so when Salt became available I jumped at the opportunity to read it.
Pascoe is of Bunurong and Yuin descent. He is an awarding-winning writer, editor and, more recently, historian. He has always combined his writing craft with other careers, and in his time has worked as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, lecturer and Aboriginal language researcher.
This book has added greatly to
This is a powerful collection. The writing has the rhythm of a bush ballad, an indigenous insight and some pieces have a vulnerable masculinity. Read some aloud to my husband and we were both blown away. Intense. Loved it.
Fabulous collection of short stories and essays about culture, connection to the land, environment, race, racism, invasion, ignorance, death, place, politics and hard truths (for some maybe) about the true history of Australia.
Matt Kelly
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: don-t-own
Great as always from Bruce Pascoe.
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was such a pleasure to read. It is a combination of essays and short stories by Bruce Pascoe that sing to the beauty of the Australian country and wildlife, challenge perceptions of colonisation and gives valuable insight into the wisdom and intuition of the true custodians of this land, the aboriginal people.

The book is broken up into six sections: Country, Lament, Sea Wolves, Embrasure, Tracks, Culture Lines. Each section contains essays or stories that expound on these themes.

I didn
Sue Gerhardt Griffiths
A collection of stories and essays by Bruce Pascoe about aboriginal culture, history, environment and other themes.

Audiobooks are super fun to listen to but in this case a print copy would have been a better option as with stories such as these it’s vital to set eyes on, savour and digest every written word.

Also, listening to the audiobook was a little confusing as each story runs in to each other, no title mentioned nor did the narrator give any clue whether the tale was fact or fiction.

Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A few months ago, there was lots of public controversy surrounding Bruce Pascoe and his identity. In this collection of essays and short stories, he has pieces that directly address that controversy. Others can be read more as companion pieces to his ground-breaking Dark Emu. There are 35 essays and stories, so lots of ground is covered here. Pascoe is thoughtful and rigorous and I’m looking forward to selecting one of these essays for my first-year students to read (the hard part will be choosi ...more
Anne Fenn
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic writing, amazing reading. The things you’ll learn. If you know the author from Dark Emu, you get history and so much more - short stories, essays, historical pieces.
Lisette Robey
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant, entertaining and thought provoking collection.
Kate (pooxs_insta)
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastically written short stories that leave you wanting more. The essays were quite repetitive in content and phrasing, so better to just read Dark Emu.
Jeffrey Bretag
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Picked this up after reading Dark Emu. Both these books have completely changed my understanding of Australian Aborigines history and reinforced the need for education on this subject matter to be updated. Pascoe is an excellent writer, who challenges contemporary political commenters, as well as politicians. Well worth reading.
David Haberlah
Jul 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Bruce Pascoe is at his very best in his vivid and intimate portrayals, observations and recollections of rural landscapes and characters written in beautiful prose. He is at his worst lamenting and correcting the biased Australian history and politics that shape prejudice against and disadvantage of Indigenous Australia. This is not because these things are not real and evidently important to Pascoe. More so because they are so personal to him, however without his direct experience and observati ...more
Emily Mcleod
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, the audio book was great though some stories were not for me the short stories and essays about indigenous lives last and present were a treasure to read. I got lost a little when the stories transitioned and I just wished Bolinda would make a clearer cut between them, especially when it would have given more weight to the ending of each short story. But I honestly can’t fault it, loved the last story - dreaming of breaking bread with the woman who invented it as a form of reconciliat ...more
May 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I wish we could do half star ratings on Goodreads! This would be a 3 1/2 star for me. There's an awful lot to be said about this book, but a book that is short story as well as essays is hard to comment on! Most of the stories drew me in, some were a bit weird, and all of the essays really got me thinking. I am really into Bruce Pascoe's writing style overall, and I can't wait to get into his more well known book Dark Emu. Everyone in Australia should read this book and have their thinking chall ...more
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Where to begin in finding the words to convey how beautiful this collection of stories and essays and essays is? To explain how deeply it touched my soul, and how much it meant to me? Perhaps only Pascoe himself has the language in which to describe it.

Do yourself a favour and pick this one up! Pascoe’s simple, lyrical style of story-telling is evocative and engrossing. The most unassuming of phrases brought me to tears. I loved it so much.

5 stars, wholeheartedly.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I get it Bruce. I know the feeling of understanding something totally and feeling it passionately. I know that despair as your desire for others to share that understanding and that passion seems to fall constantly on deaf ears. I’d love to go back to that South Coast and listen to you tell me those stories and help you put the Biamanga mountain monolith back into place. Just so I could tell you that some of us understand and want to feel it the way you do.
Lucy Johanson
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
As with Pascoe’s books there is the tendency to over romance history and some times a few points come up that aren’t quite based on all the facts but his prose is lyrical and enveloping. The first story, a letter, was so hauntingly beautiful it stole my breath.
Mar 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Recurrent themes in a book of essays is not unusual, however repetition across many of these essays suggests there is a significant editorial problem that prevents this collection coming across in a genuinely cohesive and compelling way.
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a story teller, hope he writes more books
Nick Fleming
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a book about many moments in time. Whether fictional or based entirely (subjectively or otherwise) on fact, Pascoe does very well to capture them. And for that, Salt is a very worthy read
Jeff Macpherson
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Important reading for all Australians but also some beautiful writing
Becky Peters
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: rejected
Not my type of book. Returned to library.
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A collection of his best writing. Beautiful prose, striking stories and ground-breaking history.
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked the mix of stories and essays but the themes were a bit repetitive.
Mary Ann
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another book that should be read by all Australians
Robert Pearce
Jul 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Aboriginal stories
Jacqueline Melia
Aug 21, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
David Mitchell
Aug 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Pascoe displays an antagonism towards government, God, Christians and the church that is most undesirable. It comes out in a number of the essays. As to God, Christians and the church, Pascoe at no point indicates that he has ever once sought to work with those whom cause him grief.

I'm willing to accept that my education about aboriginal Australians was very poor, yet, I am not inspired to learn from someone who is so expressive of his angst towards those who may be valuable allies.

Please less
Rachel Walker
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful anthology. Bruce reveals himself as a tender, observant man with a fierce dedication to the most important cause. His stories weave a silken thread to reveal the essential connection between the country and us.
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Bruce Pascoe was born of Bunurong and Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond and graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Education. He is a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative of southern Victoria and has been the director of the Australian Studies Project for the Commonwealth Schools Commission.

Bruce has had a varied career as a teach

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