Giving this Country a Memory: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices of Australia

by Anne Brewster


"A respectful, very accessible and timely overview of Indigenous Australian writing ... . Brewster’s adroit and engaged analysis of the novels, short stories, and poetry—the way these can be contextualized and understood within the mainstream pressures exerted upon the Aboriginal communities and the continuing fight for Indigenous sovereignty—never frames or takes over from, but rather adds on to, the Indigenous author’s voice which precedes the analysis. ...the collection strikes a fine balance between the distancing effect of a scholarly approach and the respect and engagement owed to the Indigenous community. ... Brewster’s well-pitched, necessary and timely initiative stands as an indispensable piece of engaged scholarship from a mainstream speaking position that contributes significantly to what Martin Nakata has called the “cultural interface” (198) between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians."-The Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia

"This is a scholarly work, and some of Brewster’s reflections are rather densely written, but her interviews are nimble and the resulting conversations are a joy to read: by turns humorous and heart-wrenching, and always thoughtful, incisive and generous." – Overland

“This is a powerful interrogation of some of the most important and potent Indigenous voices in contemporary Australian literature. It provides a framework through which to more deeply engage with the significant work, ideas and insights of a new generation of Indigenous writers.” – Larissa Behrendt, Professor of Law, University of Technology Sydney

“With a long-standing commitment to Aboriginal writing Anne Brewster is ideally placed to present this book of collected interviews of some of the most important Aboriginal writers of recent years. I was both surprised and pleased at the rich diversity of the authors included, and Brewster's sensitive and attentive interviewing mode and commentary. The interviews combined with Brewster's illuminating essays, on each of the authors, make this an essential resource for anyone with more than a passing interest in Aboriginal writing and Australian literature.” – Philip Morrissey, Head of Australian Indigenous Studies, University of Melbourne

“Anne Brewster’s interviews offer a groundbreaking insight into the complex world of Aboriginal writing. By deftly traversing the relation between the authors’ texts and the reader’s relation to them she offers the writers an avenue through which they may elaborate both the depth of Aboriginal cultures and their fraught relation with settler society. These are valuable for anyone interested in Aboriginal writing.” – Bill Ashcroft, Australian Professorial Fellow, University of New South Wales

“Literary critics often forget to ask the authors what they think. Here, Anne Brewster talks to some celebrated Indigenous Australian writers about their unique contexts, their struggles and their craft. It is an invaluable resource for both the general public and students of these works.” – Stephen Muecke, Professor of Ethnography, University of New South Wales


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