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Talking To My Country by Stan Grant (HarperCollins Publishers)
In this intensely felt meditation, Stan Grant addresses questions of race, identity and history from the perspective of his own life and heritage as a Wiradjuri man, as well as through the lives and experiences of Indigenous peoples across the country, past and present. His thoughts and enquiries inevitably raise one of the great challenges for contemporary Australia: how to replace a history of racism and discrimination with all the rights due to a people who are still ‘a nation without an anthem or flag’, who have been told throughout this country’s white history they were ‘anything but Australian’.
Grant writes of his deep sense of belonging to this country — a belonging regularly shattered by a deeply entrenched and still-virulent racism. For all the despair and troubled history found in these pages, and despite his own occasional feelings of dismay or defeat, Grant’s voice remains as steady as his intentions for the future and he ends his work in affirmation: that he will continue to stand on his land and hear his people’s voices and see their faces, that his children will go on being Wiradjuri people, that his own son will go on to ‘tell the story to his son’.