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The Yield: A Novel

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  5,277 ratings  ·  678 reviews
Winner of the NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2020 - for Fiction, People's Choice and Book of the Year.
Shortlisted The Stella Prize 2020
Shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction 2020
Longlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award 2020

Knowing that he will soon die, Albert ‘Poppy’ Gondiwindi takes pen to paper. His life has been spent on the banks of the Murrumby Ri
Kindle Edition
Published June 2nd 2020 (first published July 2nd 2019)
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Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Winner of the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award

The Yield is that rare thing: a 5-star stunner from the very first lines. It combines history, heritage and the Wiradjuri language with a moving narrative and unfussy, yet often lyrical, prose.

We follow August Gondiwindi, a young woman returning to her home town of Massacre Plains after the death of her grandfather. She learns that he had been compiling a dictionary of the Wiradjuri language, but it's nowhere to be found. Meanwhile her widowed
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ten stars out of five! What an amazing novel!
It took me just two days to read/listen to it, or should I say two days and one night? The narration was a bit complex at first, but after a while I found it most suitable for this book. Recently I have several books tackling the cruel treatment towards the Native Australians in the past and the negligence of their heritage in modern times. 'The Yield' adds one important aspect: the language that should be preserved.
The narration comes from three voi
Angela M
This stunning novel blends three distinct narratives, a structure using three different ways in the telling of this story of place, of history, of a people, of an intimate story of a family, of loss of people and land, of their heritage, of their very identity. This was an impactful book for me in several ways. From a historical and cultural perspective, I knew little of Australia’s history and of the Aboriginal people, so it was a learning experience. I was moved by the story of this fictional ...more
5★ - UPDATE! Just won the Miles Franklin Award!!

“younger sister - minhi
. . .
‘The family trees of people like us are just bushes now, aren’t they?’ he said. ‘Someone has been trimming them good.’ I wouldn’t ever forget these words because they sounded like sad poems. And I guess that’s a true thing, because all the years I’ve lived I’ve lost so many parts of the people that make me up. My mummy, my daddy, my cousins, and my younger sister, my minhi. When I was little and in the Boys’ Home I neve
Nat K

*** Winner of the Prime Minister's Literary Award 2020 ***

*** Winner of the Miles Franklin Award 2020 ***

*** Shortlisted for the 2020 Stella Prize ***

"Please don't be a victim Auggie..."

Reading this, I felt like my diaphragm was gripped in a vice. Like I was unable to breath properly. This is such an incredibly complex book. It is a rich story, that speaks of culture, displacement and love. 

Love of another. Love of of family. Love of country. Love of words.

A sense of disconnect jumped at me from
Elyse  Walters
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
August Goondiwindi was a young Indigenous woman. After time spent in the UK, she returned home, to Australia.
Her grandfather, Albert, ‘Poppy’, had recently died. He grew up in the 1930s.

August begins to re-connect with her past. ( all the sadness too)....lots of backstory about the poverty she endured- and memories of her mother and sister.

Albert had compiled a dictionary to memorize and maintain the language of his people. ( more fascinating than easily explained)...
Poppy wanted the language p
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tara June Winch writes a complex, powerful, far reaching multigenerational Australian novel that relates harrowing Aboriginal history, structured by its three perspectives, and the connections between the past, present and future. Part of the Wiradjuri tribe, Albert 'Poppy' Gondiwindi lives at Prosperous House, at the all too appropriately named Massacre Plain, by the Murrumby River. Aware that death is coming for him, he embarks on a quest to document the Wiradjuri language before it is lost, w ...more
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stories within stories. Much like the Russian nesting dolls.
August returns to Australia after her grandfather passed. Finds that the lands of Massacre Plain are being taken over by a tin mining corporation.
She also discovers her poppy was writing a dictionary of wiradjuri words, which transported his history and life on the plains and the rich culture of the people who lived there and their own sufferings of a child who went missing never to be found.

Overall, Poppy’s story was far more interesti
Vicky "phenkos"
The Yield is told by means of three alternate points of view: that of August, who lives in London, but is from Massacre Plains, Australia, and returns to her birthplace when news reaches her that her grandfather Albert has died. Then there is the viewpoint of a dictionary compiler, who puts down not only words but also stories -- words like "minhi" and "baayanka" and the stories that go with them. And finally, the letters of Reverend Ferdinard Greenleaf to Dr. George Cross, President of the Brit ...more
As many have already stated, The Yield is quite an accomplished novel.
It managed to be literary yet very accessible, contemporary and historical, informative and emotional, polemical but also philosophical. It also introduced the reader to the Wiradjuri language, one of the many Indigenous languages and dialects in Australia - many of which had disappeared. I am ashamed to say that I don't know any words in the language of the native people in my area - the Noongar people. None of my Aussie born
Michael Livingston
This is another ripper - angry, sad, wise and somehow optimistic. It reminded me of Too Much Lip in a lot of ways, although with less humour. The richness in the ways that Winch tackles language particularly is revelatory - there's so much cultural knowledge here, but also a brilliant narrative and complicated, fascinating characters. ...more
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Miles Franklin Award 2020. Winch’s brilliantly crafted novel uses the language of the Wiradjuri people to tell the story of a culture that endured for hundreds of years, but barely survived the onslaught of Australian colonization. Much like the American policies put in place to ‘Americanize’ Native Americans by removing children from their tribal reservations, and forbidding them from speaking their native tongue in school; the Australians did the same with their Indigenous people. Winch’s nove ...more
Gumble's Yard
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
Published in the UK today 21-1-21

queen bee, bee—darribun, ngaraang The ngaraang is in danger now, whole colonies are dying and the queen bee darribun is left, like on a chessboard, without any pawns, with all the worker ngaraang dying off. The bee puts off leaving the hive until later in their lives, when they are adults, because with less flowers it means collecting pollen is hard work for the bee, and many die of exhaustion before they make honey—warrul—and never return to the home. If the
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved everything about this book. The timelines, the narrators, the structure and the dictionary. Even the horrific history, no matter how many times you read it, in different shapes and voices, you think you've heard it before but Winch has portrayed it so creatively here. It was deeply moving and bloody brilliant. Surely is the front-runner to win the Stella Prize in a few days. I haven't read any others on the shortlist and probably won't have time now, but my money is on this one! ...more
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[3.5] The Yield is slow-building novel about a young indigenous Australian woman who returns to her home after her grandfather dies. I found it more educational than entertaining. Moving back and forth between August's story, to a missionary's letters, to her grandfather's Wiradjuri language dictionary made for a scattered reading experience. Yet, I learned a great deal so it was well worth the effort. ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

all together in one place - ngumbaay-dyil
To be isolated is to be unable to act. That's what we were - isolated - from our family, from our language, from our cultural ways and from out land. And then we were taken - ngumbaay-dyil.... We weren't really all together in one place, we weren't residents in those places, us kids on our cots, we were criminals by birth, inmates since we could walk. Together and isolated at once.

Last week, this book won Australia's most prestigious literary priz
I found The Yield fascinating and often heart-rending.
Winch's story, shortlisted for the 2020 Stella Prize is told via three different perspectives. Fading fast, Albert Gondiwindi strives to record details of his own and his people's past and his knowledge of the Wiradjuri language. Prodigal granddaughter August Gondiwindi returns to Massacre Plains after a decade spent on the other side of the world when she hears of her beloved grandfather's death. Interleaved into their narratives is correspo
Although I tried listening to this audiobook, I had a hard time following the story-line, so I stopped; however, the subject matter of this story intrigued me enough to sign out a hard-copy from the library. I am so glad that I didn't give up!
I enjoyed the 3 narratives:
(1) Albert (Poppy) Gondiwindi - the definitions of his personal Aboriginal dictionary tell a very moving story as the book progresses;
(2) Reverend Greenleaf - his 1915 letter to the British Society of Ethnography outlines his deve
Paul Fulcher
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley, 2021
Yield, bend the feet, tread, as in walking, also long, tall— baayanha
Yield itself is a funny word— yield in English is the reaping, the things that man can take from the land, the thing he’s waited for and gets to claim. A wheat yield. In my language it’s the things you give to, the movement, the space between things. It’s also the action made by Baiame, because sorrow, old age, and pain bend and yield. The bodies of the ones that had passed were buried with every joint bent, even if the bones
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

‘I want to spread everywhere I can over Prosperous, I want the body to float up to the leaves, I want to rest in the wheatfield, the last yield, before it’s dug open.’

The Yield is a rich and remarkable odyssey into Indigenous people and their culture. Structured in the form of three equally compelling narratives, this profoundly Australian yarn takes a deeper look at Indigenous identity and the power of language. The Yield is a text that should be read by al
John Banks
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Winner 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Wiradjuri author Tara June Winch's The Yield is a magnificant, deeply moving assertion of Indigenous (Australian Aboriginal) culture, language, country and identities. It's powerful, wonderfully written and artistically crafted.

This is such an important work that I hope gets into the hands and minds of many Australians and beyond. It builds an important bridge to understanding. It asks us as readers to yield (baayanha), to bend and bow our heads and hear
April (Aprilius Maximus)
"There exists a sort of torture of memory if you let it come, if you invite the past to huddle beside you, comforting like a leech...a footprint in history has a thousand repercussions, that there are a thousand battles being fought every day because people couldn't forget something that happened before they were born. There are few worse things than memory, yet few things better."

representation: own voices Aboriginal (Wiradjuri) MC and side characters, lesbian MC

[trigger warnings are listed
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was absolutely stunning. However, I don’t feel at all qualified to discuss this for book club, and I’m starting to get a little bit stressed about the whole thing.
The language was stunning, and I absolutely cannot recommend this book highly enough, especially considering the author will be at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival this year.
Seriously, read this book.
Brona's Books
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been trying to write a review for The Yield by Tara June Winch for the past week that would do it justice and adequately describe my reading experience. But I'm so tired and under the weather with a foggy brain and raspy throat that nothing is coming out right.

So, let me just simply say how much I enjoyed this story. From the beautiful cover to the endearing protagonist, August and her amazing Poppy Albert, the dictionary maker. It's not often that I tell you to read a book, but this is the
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: auslit
I'm grateful that Sue @doddyaboutbooks popped this on my radar last year, this was a great read that I continue thinking about even after finishing the book!

This is a narrative told across three different perspectives and timelines, and is a gorgeous celebration of language and linguistics - in the contemporary timeline we follow August Gondiwindi, a young Indigenous woman returning (after living in the UK) to Country upon the death of her grandfather (Poppy). She had been living overseas and th
Natalie M
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian, biogrpahy
Reading for story value 3 stars.
Reading as a literary value 5 stars.

It is clear to see why this novel has won so many awards but it is not light easy reading.

A beautiful account of heritage and history, culture, language and tradition. A timely reminder that what is not recorded can so easily be lost.

‘Poppy’ and August Gondiwindi of the Wiradjuri tribe are united by pain and strength, anger and sadness; tell a story of what makes a place ‘home’.

Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are few things worse than memory, yet few things better; he’d said. Be careful."

Tara June Winch’s The Yield is a fine and enriching novel about cultural identity and survival. Winch performs the neat trick of producing a reading experience that’s simultaneously contemplative and absorbing. Her intermixing of the Wiradjuri lexicon works remarkably well, enhancing plot, atmosphere, and characters, and provides a gut level recognition of how language constitutes culture. This is a novel to b
Indigenous People's Day (aka Columbus Day) is the day I started this book. How apropos!!

The setting: Massacre Plains, New South Wales
The characters: The Gondiwindis: August, Albert, Elsie and many Aunts (all Aborigines); The Reverend Ferdinand Greenleaf (founder of the Prosperous Orphanage).

August, born in NSW, escaped to London. She is now home for her grandfather Albert's (Poppy) funeral.
Poppy lends his voice to the story. He has written a dictionary of a lost aboriginal language.
Ferdinand Gr
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
I got to about the 50% mark, but I'm going to have to bail on this one. It feels like the author had some cultural and political ideas and is trying to retrofit a story and characters around those ideas. It's just not working for me. ...more
Though it took a little while to get into and fall into the rhythm of this book, once I did and realised what it was doing, preserving a language and sharing a culture through it, while telling the story of one who returns to the culture having been separated from it through travel (and having been separated from it through education), I thought it was brilliant.

The story is narrated through three voices, in three styles, across three time periods.

The first person narrative is given to Albert (P
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Tara June Winch is an Australian (Wiradjuri) author. Her first novel, Swallow the Air won several literary awards. In 2008, she was mentored by Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka as part of the prestigious Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. After The Carnage, her second book was published in 2016 to critical acclaim. Her third, The Yield, was first published in 2019, to commercial and critical ...more

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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“So, because they say it is urgent, because I've got the church time against me - I'm taking pen to paper to pass on everything that was ever remembered.
All the words I found on the wind.”
“He was telling her that there was a lot to remembering the past, to having stories, to knowing your history, your childhood, but there is something to forgetting it too...There exists a sort of torture of memory if you let it come, if you invite the past to huddle beside you, comforting like a leech...a footprint in history has a thousand repercussions, that there are a thousand battles being fought every day because people couldn't forget something that happened before they were born. There are few worse things than memory, yet few things better.” 1 likes
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