Want to write the great Australian novel? You need to engage with Indigenous Australia first | Anita Heiss

Want to write the great Australian novel? You need to engage with Indigenous Australia first | Anita Heiss

The Guardian

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First Nations people are in every part of this country – physically, spiritually, socially and politically. A novel set in Australia must acknowledge that

I am a firm believer that you cannot write the “Great Australian Novel” without including First Nations peoples. We are in every part of this country’s landscape – physically, spiritually, socially and politically. Everywhere you walk, you are walking on Aboriginal land. Everywhere. A novel set in Australia must therefore reference that land, and its people.

I know a lot of non-Indigenous authors get nervous writing about Indigenous Australians. That is largely because they do not engage with us in a meaningful way. In order to write us into their work authentically, with passion and purpose, they must take those vital steps. Many find it difficult, a challenge that they’d rather not attempt.

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