One always has too many things to carry at conferences, especially when it in during wintertime in Philadelphia—the #MLA17 convention program, session notes, books, winter paraphernalia, and so forth.
No worries! Come and get one of our free, roomy totes! Carry your books and winter items around in style with this extra-wide and water-resistant handy tote bag. Then take it home and use it for shopping trips or gym days.
Come to the Cambria Press booth (#509) when the exhibit hall opens on Friday morning (Jan 9) to get your complimentary bag. *Limited edition. While supplies last. See also our event list http://ow.ly/JiMo307vUlP.
Interview Snippet from Cambria Press Publication Giving This Country a Memory (Chapter 7: Doris Pilkington Garimara )
Anne: Have you had feedback from overseas readers?
Doris: Oh, look, they were fabulous, in all those places, about the film; particularly the Native American people. We had stories to exchange, and so on. Although Native American people were taken away, they were taken away as families; we were taken away as children and put in settlements and homes.
Anne: So, do you think that we’ve got anything to learn from how indigenous issues are dealt with in America and Canada?
Doris: Yeah. What we need to learn is to be more politically active. We had our entrance into the political arena with the tent embassy, but it hasn’t gone on too far or too strong now. Nobody is fighting for our rights now.
This is just a snippet from the interview which Dr. Anne Brewster conducted with Doris Pilkington Garimara, who passed away in 2014. The entire interview can be read in the book, along with interviews with the other featured authors: Kim Scott, Romaine Moreton, Jeanine Leane, Melissa Lucashenko, Marie Munkara, and Alf Taylor.
Doris Pilkington Garimara (1937–2014) was from the Martu people of the Western Desert. She published a trilogy, Caprice, A Stockman’s Daughter, Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, and Under the Wintamarra Tree). Caprice won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and the David Unaipon Award. Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence was adapted as a film in 2002, The Rabbit Proof Fence, directed by Philip Noyce. The book has been translated into at least eight languages (Chinese, German, French, Swedish, Korean, Turkish, Japanese, and Dutch), and Pilkington’s Home to Mother has been adapted as a children’s book. Doris Pilkington Garimara was appointed copatron of the Australian Sorry Day’s Committee’s Journey of Healing in 2002. She won the Australia Council Red Ochre Award (2008) and the Order of Australia for services to the arts (2006).
Excerpt from Cambria Press Publication Giving This Country a Memory (Chapter 7: Doris Pilkington Garimara )
“Pilkington Garimara used memory to convey the truth of an occluded Aboriginal history, a history that had been inaccessible both to her as an indigenous individual and to various local, national, and global publics. She undertakes the project of remediating memory as literature in a quest for both personal and collective healing. She imagines collective healing in numerous contexts—that of indigenous people, particularly indigenous women—but also in a cross-racial context […] She aimed to counter the effects of the “indoctrination” by the state and the church (which she experienced during her periods as an “inmate” in the Moore River Native Settlement and the Roelands Mission) which eradicated much of her own memory and instilled in her a sense of shame, fear, and suspicion of traditional Aboriginal culture and people. She describes her return to her family at the age of forty-five as “traumatic”. The living conditions, the language, traditional cultural practices, and the blackness of people (such as her father) were somewhat horrifying to her; and it took her ten years to “undo this conditioning” and come to accept and embrace these aspects of her family.” (p. 245)
Alf Taylor is a Yuat Nyoongar (who is also of Ngadu heritage). He is a prolific and versatile writer who has won several awards. Taylor has published two books of poetry, Singer Songwriter and Winds, and a collection of short fiction, Long Time Now (which has been translated into Spanish). A member of the Stolen Generations, Taylor has recently completed a book, God, the Devil and Me, based on his life story set in New Norcia Mission.
Excerpt from Cambria Press Publication Giving This Country a Memory (Chapter 6: Alf Taylor )
“The very difficult issues of poverty and addiction which beset the Nyoongar community represented in these stories are thus framed by the mechanism of humour which affirms the strong presence of intracommunal support. […] Taylor’s fiction, in maintaining ambiguity, restores dignity and social hope. The prime vehicle for hope in the story is the humour mobilized in the service of yarning. The comedy is burlesque, bawdy, farcical. It is sharp and biting but often affectionate.” (p. 211; p. 213)
Of Rembarranga, Tiwi, Macassan, and Chinese descent, Marie Munkara’s first book, Every Secret Thing, won the David Unaipon Award and the Northern Territory Book of the Year Award. She has also published another collection, A Most Peculiar Act, in addition to two children’s books, Rusty Brown and Rusty and Jojo.
Excerpt from Cambria Press Publication Giving This Country a Memory (Chapter 5: Marie Munkara )
“The humour here is a powerful vehicle for revealing the contradictions between doctrine and practice; […] It seems to be laughing in the face of what Munkara described as the “church’s angst about sex and their morbid interest in the sexual practices of others” (36). It targets the hypocrisy of the Church for whom an expression of repentance is assumed to obviate the guilt that arises from sexual predation (9). However, the story also works to confer a carnivalesque agency and energy on the indigenous characters that is absent in the characterisation of the mission mob. The bush mob on occasion have the capacity to mimic their oppressors, to perform white culture, and to take up white culture’s expectations and demands of Aboriginal people, without sacrificing their own bodily imperatives and personal and political agendas.” (p.177)
Melissa Lucashenko is a Murri woman of European (Ukrainian) and Yugambeh/Bundjalung (southeast Queensland) descent, with affiliations with the Arrente and Waanyi nations (in central Australia and the southern Gulf of Carpentaria region respectively). She has published three adult novels, the prize-winning Steam Pigs, as well as Hard Yards and Mullumbimby. Lucashenko has also published two young-adult novels, Killing Darcy and Too Flash.
Excerpt from Cambria Press Publication Giving This Country a Memory (Chapter 4: Melissa Lucashenko )
“Humour also functions in the novel as a complex critique of the underclass masculinity of the south side of Brisbane. Lucashenko mercilessly satirises men’s attachment to their cars, the “little boys’ toys” (22) which define them, in their own and each other’s eyes, as men “to-be-taken-seriously” (113). While this kind of masculinity is the object of dread and anger in the novel, Lucashenko also critiques it through humour which undermines these figures’ authority. Many of the narratorial joking remarks about men (enunciated from either the narrator’s or Sue’s point of view) double up as critiques of racism, especially the satirical remarks about men and their cars. … There are many other kinds of humour in the novel such as affectionate repartee and practical joking between family members and friends which reinforce communal and familial bonds and fortify indigenous people as individuals and a collective against the racialised violence of their everyday worlds. The Murri vernacular which Lucashenko draws upon for striking comic and humorous effects demonstrates the vital orality of contemporary indigenous cultures which has buttressed those communities against assimilation.” (p. 138-139)
Jeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri woman from southwest New South Wales. She has published a book of poetry Dark Secrets (2010), which won the Scanlon Prize, and a book of stories, Purple Threads (2011), which won the David Unaipon Award.
Excerpt from Cambria Press Publication Giving This Country a Memory (Chapter 3: Jeanine Leane)
“The white settler home was a site where white femininity was sharply demarcated from white masculinity. It was this differentiation that marked white men and white women as “civilised”. Idealised white femininity was domestic, nurturing and pure, while white masculinity was worldly and competitive. White men were citizen soldiers, providers and pioneers while white women were exemplars of sexual purity. The Australian patriarchal white family was based on this unequal complementarity. As the poems in Dark Secrets demonstrate, the category of white women’s idealized femininity and sexual purity comes into being through its differentiation from the excessive, dangerous bodily fertility of Aboriginal women.” (p.104)