Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been asking for contributions on ‘Why You Read or Write Blak’. We’ll publish a selection on our website in the lead up to our 2016 Festival. Today on our blog, Lisa Hill reflects on the knowledge she’s gained through reading Indigenous authors.
I read blak – and I host Indigenous Literature Week on my blog so that others will too – because I’m interested in the voices of Indigenous people. I’ve discovered some fabulous authors with wonderful stories to tell, who have distinctive ways of looking at the world. I like learning about Indigenous country and culture through fiction by Kim Scott, Alexis Wright, Tony Birch and many others; and I like learning about Australia’s Blak history and its current issues through biography, memoir and books that reveal things I didn’t know, like Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu, and Anita Heiss’s Am I Black Enough for You. I’ve been excited to read bilingual books by dual authors writing in language and in English; I’ve been chastened to learn about ongoing injustice and I’ve been inspired by the courage, generosity and indefatigable spirit of the people I’ve read about.
Most of all, I think, is that when I read books by Indigenous Australians, I feel as if I am being invited to get to know my country better. I’m being welcomed in to share in an ancient story…
Lisa Hill runs the blog ANZLitLovers, and is an ambassador for Australian literature.