Launched in 1987, Magabala Books is a not-for-profit Indigenous publishing house based in Broome, W.A. that aims to promote, preserve and publish Indigenous Australian culture. They have offered to donate a copy of Grace Beside Me, which has just been released. It’s by Sue McPherson, who was winner of the inaugural black&write! kuril dhagan Indigenous Writing Fellowship.
Be in it to win it: Any Australian readers who signs up for Indigenous Literature Week is eligible (including those who’ve already signed). (I’m sorry, Kiwis!) Please indicate your interest in the Comments box below and I’ll select a winner using a random generator by the end of this week i.e. Friday May 24th.
All entries from Australian residents will be eligible but it is a condition of entry that if you are the winner, you must contact me with a postal address to pass on to Magabala Books by the deadline that will be specified in the blog post that announces the winner. (I’ll redraw if this deadline isn’t met).
Here’s the blurb for Grace Beside Me from the Magabala press release:
Written from teenager girl Fuzzy Mac’s perspective, Grace Beside Me is a quirky, warmly rendered story of home and family life in a small town. The black&write! judges remarked on the authentic feel of the Indigenous home life of Fuzzy Mac and her grandparents — her guardians since the death of her mother.
Awkward episodes of teen rivalry and romance sit happily alongside the mystery of Gran’s visions and an encounter with a ghost. The story sits against a backdrop of amazing characters including the holocaust survivor who went to school with Einstein; the sleazy, once-good-looking Mayor; the little priest always rushing off to bury someone before the heat gets to them; the wife basher up the road; Lola’s Forest, dedicated to Lola, a traditional Aboriginal woman who met Ned Kelly — and Nan and Pop.
Grace Beside Me interweaves the mundane with the profound and the spiritual — it is full of wisdom and good advice (Fuzzy call’s Nan ‘the queen of all knowing’) on everything from how to to ‘sit a while’ in the bush and connect with country to how to properly hang out the washing.
Sue McPherson is a visual artist living in Eumundi, Queensland. She was born in Sydney to an Aboriginal mother, from Wiradjuri country. Sue was adopted into the McPherson family, landowners from the Batlow area in News South Wales, when she was very young.
Sue was inspired to write by her two teenage sons. She took a writing workshop in Coolum and, three months later, started writing Grace Beside Me.
You can buy Grace Beside Me from Fishpond, from Magabala online and good book stores.