Discover Indigenous Australian voices & stories

Wednesday 6 September is Indigenous Literacy Day and Readings is donating 10% of funds from books sold in our shops to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF). (Find out more here.) This means that this is the perfect time to seek out stories from Indigenous Australians.

We’ve compiled some collections of books, music, film and TV from Indigenous Australians – for all ages and all kinds of tastes. You can browse the full collections below.

Book clubs might be tempted by new books from two award-winning authors. Common People is a collection of short stories from Melbourne Prize winner Tony Birch. Hawthorn bookseller Annie Condon says that it ‘stands out for its voice and compassion’. Taboo is a new novel from Miles Franklin winner Kim Scott. Carlton bookseller George Delaney calls it ‘pressingly important’.

We also saw a unique and startling debut arrive on our shelves this past month. St Kilda bookseller Suzanne Steinbruckner says: ‘Claire G. Coleman’s Terra Nullius is a retelling of Australia’s colonial settlement, but not in any way you’ve read it before.’ And look out next month for the arrival of another Indigenous Australian debut – Paul Collis’s Dancing Home has been described as ‘part road-movie, part Koori-noir’.

Looking to non-fiction, there are any number of timely books tackling urgent issues for Australia as a country. This includes A Rightful Place, a collection of essays about constitutional recognition, and Us Women, Our Ways, Our World, which brings writings on women and Aboriginal identity.

Plus, the incredible Alexis Wright has a new book coming later this year. Tracker is a memoir of the charismatic Indigenous leader Tracker Tilmouth and an epic portrait of a important period in the political life of Australia.

If you’re a lover of poetry, then we urge you to seek out the work of Ali Cobby Eckermann who won the prestigious international Windham-Campbell Literary Prize for Poetry earlier this year. Her two most recent poetry collections are Ruby Moonlight and Inside My Mother. Eckermann also published a memoir a few years ago: Too Afraid to Cry.

We have plenty of suggestions for the kids as well – from picture books to non-fiction. A new favourite picture book is the beautiful, lush Big Fella Rain by Beryl Webber and Fern Martins, while sport-loving young readers of 7 and up will find much to love in the Game Day! series, which is co-written by Australian Olympian and NBA star Patty Mills.

We’re also big fans of three new children’s and young adult books which come from the ILF’s work, and feature input from from Indigenous young people themselves.

I Open The Door is written by children from the 2016 Spinifex Writing Camp with Ann James, Gregg Dreise and Judy Watson, Shallow in the Deep End is a collaboration between the students of Tiwi College Alalinguwi Jarrakarlinga and author Jared Thomas, and Indigenous students from Concordia Lutheran College have lent their experiences of transitioning to boarding school to create Two Way Strong.

Also, look out for the arrival of Yakanarra Song Book. In this book are 14 songs – 10 in the Walmajarri language – and all beautifully illustrated by children from the Yakanarra Community School.

You can find more reading suggestions by browsing our collections below, and you can read more about the work done by ILF here.

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Terra Nullius

Terra Nullius

Claire G. Coleman

$29.99Buy now

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