2022 - Shortlisted
The skill leading Nyoongar Elder Alf Taylor demonstrates in God, the Devil and Me could be easy to underestimate because of the ease with which he draws his readers close. Taylor’s capacity to dig deep and share with us in this memoir, told from his point of view as a child, is deeply impressive. An accomplished poet and short story writer, he brings his unique style to telling his own story, bouncing readers around with humour and witty turns of phrase while excavating the murkier history of the imposition of Christianity on Aboriginal children in the West.
The adult and child Alf Taylor are in these pages, and the narrative by necessity is not chronological — such a convention could only suit a far less complex life. The history is in the present here, and Taylor is a brave storyteller and an assured narrator who takes us on the journey with him. This book is for all Australians.