Posted by: Lisa Hill | May 28, 2013

Announcing 2013 Indigenous Writers Week at ANZ LitLovers

ILW 2013I am pleased to announce that ANZ LitLovers will again be hosting Indigenous Writers Week in the second week of July to coincide with NAIDOC Week here in Australia. (July 7 – 14).  This is a week when Australians celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and this year the NAIDOC Week theme is We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963.  These bark petitions were the first ever traditional documents recognised by the Australian Parliament and you can read more about them here.  In that context, it seems very appropriate to be celebrating all forms of Indigenous Writing, and I hope that many of my readers will join in and read a book by an Indigenous author.

As in the inaugural year of Indigenous Writers Week,  your choice of indigenous literature isn’t restricted just to Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori literature.   Participants are welcome to join in reading indigenous literature from anywhere in the world, from Canada to Guyana, from Native American to Basque to Pashtun or Ixcatec. (For a list of indigenous people of the world, see this list at Wikipedia.) As to how we define indigenous, that’s up to indigenous people themselves.  If they identify as indigenous themselves, well, that’s good enough for me.

Last year I was grateful to receive help from many fantastic contributors who helped me to generate a reading list to inspire you.  For reasons of space and time and personal preference  my reading list is limited to literary fiction titles by indigenous Australian and New Zealand authors but participants are free to choose any form you like – short story, memoir, biography, whatever takes your fancy!  The permanent link to my reading list (and to other sources) is on the ANZLL Books You Must Read page in the top menu, and you can also find it in the list of Pages near the bottom of the RH Menu.

Thanks to all those who joined in last year and have encouraged me to host the week again.

Interested?  Sign up now to give yourself time to source the book you want to read, and please, leave a comment here on this page after signing up.

To sign up

1. If you have a blog or a Library Thing or GoodReads account, click on the Mr Linky image below.  (You might need to press Control to allow the Pop-up).  Mr Linky will open up on a new page where you enter your name and the name of your blog if you have one, and then the URL of your blog or Library Thing or GoodReads profile page.  If you don’t have a blog or one of these accounts, just use the comments box below.

2. Tell us what you think you might read in the comments box.  You never know, you might encourage someone else to try the book too! (You can always change your mind later if you want to).

If you want to check that you’ve signed up with Mr Linky, refresh this page, click on the widget again, and you will see something that looks like this and you should be able to see your name on it.

To share your thoughts about the book you’ve read

When you’ve read the book and you’re ready to share your thoughts about it, please visit the Reviews page where you can post your comments about the book and/or a link to your review on your own blog or at GoodReads or Library Thing.


  1. I’ve joined up again. Now to ponder on what to read this year!

  2. Count me in, Lisa. Might opt (tbc!) for another Kim Scott, perhaps ‘Benang: From the Heart’. Thanks for once again shining the spotlight into indigenous lit. John

    • Oh excellent, I’d like to see a good review of Benang, such a great book!

  3. count me in lisa I will try and find something suggestions welcome ,I ve remember babylon on my shelves would that count ?

    • Do you mean Remembering Babylon, Stu? That’s by David Malouf, and he’s not indigenous, so no, that would be a great book to read but it wouldn’t count for Indigenous Literature Week, sorry!

      • Yes I ll have a look at list and see what my library has Kim Scott counts ?

        • Yes, he’s from the Noongar People of Western Australia. BTW did you choose a book for me for your Thomas Bernhard Week? Something short, please, but a good intro to his writing because I’ve never read anything by him.

  4. […] PS If you haven’t signed up to participate yet, or want to know more about ILW, please click here. […]

  5. I enjoyed this challenge last year. This year I have lined up two books for the challenge, Paint me Black by Claire Henty-Gebert and My Ngarrindjeri Calling by Doreen Kartinyeri and Sue Anderson. I’ve already started the first one and am enjoying it!

  6. […] was appropriate that Lisa Hill chose this week to announce that the Indigenous Writers Week book reviewing challenge will be held again during NAIDOC Week, 7-14 July.  I enjoyed participating last year and have […]

  7. So glad you are doing this again. And doing a master list. You are great to allow us to read and report on our Indigenous, but not Australian or New Zealand books, but what authors are relevant gets messy in other places where the group is not so clearly defined as in Australia. I have read ten or so Native American books and some by Hispanic who are also partially Indigenous, but what about books by Chinese, South American, and African authors? What if I did a post about the problems I see in defining Indigenous globally and include some references to my reviews of US Indigenous authors?

    • Ah, as I say, I let indigenous authors define themselves. But *chuckle* it hasn’t been a problem so far, we’ve only had Australian and New Zealand books!

  8. Done! I’ve a great little collection awaiting my attention at the moment, mainly children’s literature. Looking forward to expanding my 2012 NAIDOC reading list.

    • Oh, excellent, Emma:)
      I’ve been reviewing some children’s books by Aboriginal authors over on my LisaHillSchoolStuff blog and I’m keen to build up resources in that genre.

  9. Hello Ms. Hill and fellow blog readers. My name is Sonia and I am an African American educator, poet, literary scholar living in the United States. I happened to come across this blog upon doing a google search on Australian Aboriginal Writers. I am in awe of the Indigenous Writers List on the blog. I am familiar with the books by some of the Aboriginal writers listed. I was fortunate to meet some of them in New York City. Some of my areas of scholarship are Transnational Ethnic Women’s Writings, Postcolonial Literature, and Multicultural American Literature. It is difficult to acquire many books by Indigenous authors in the U.S. due to the lack of availability (out of print or overseas purchase only) and/or high pricing. I would like to share a few titles of novels I recently read by women writers of color: Oleander Girl and Queen of Dreams by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Three Strong Women by Marie Ndiaye, The Space In Between by Thrity Umrigar, and The Year of the Dog and The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin. I will follow up the the blog. Thank you Ms. Hill for the work you are doing with the Indigenous Writers List.

    • Hello Sonia, and welcome!
      Thank you for your kind words, this blog is a labour of love for me so I am always pleased when someone finds it useful:)
      I am very pleased to see that I have one of the books you mention, Three Strong Women, which I came across when it was shortlisted for an award. I hope to get to it one of these days, so many books – so little time as we booklovers all say so often!

    • Sonia,
      I am also in the US and definitely share your interests. I have been able to get some books by Indigenous authors here at decent prices from Better World Books and Paperback Swap. Sometimes it is hard especially for non-US authors.
      What is your address? I would like to read more about what you are doing and reading. I have read and liked some of the books you suggest and will look for others. Thanks for the suggestions. You might find some books that would interest you on my blog and my Global Women of Color site.

      • Hello Marilyn,
        Thank you for your interest. Your blog is very interesting. My area of scholarship is Transnational Ethnic Women Writers. I have read and studied literature by ethnic women writers from Africa, Caribbean (West Indies), Australia, U.S.A, and Canada. I’m a teacher in a private school. I am also interested in Multiethnic Children’s Literature. I have read children’s book authors of color such as Nikki Grimes, Grace Lin, Jacqueline Woodson, Sally Morgan, etc. I have some time this summer to catch up on my reading. Is there some way I can connect with you through facebook. I can give you my email address and we can connect. The following are books I plan to read this summer in addition to the Indigenous texts:
        Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani
        In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
        A Crazy Mixed-Up Spanglish Day by Marisa Montes
        The Grand Plan to Fix Everything by Uma Krishnaswami
        Claire of the Sunlight by Edwidge Danticat
        The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar
        Salsa Stories by Lulu Delacre
        I hope to hear from you soon. With blessings on the page and in life.

  10. […] Listening to Country, by Ros Moriarty, is a passionate call to action on behalf of Australia’s indigenous people.  It was the 2012 winner of  The National Year of Reading 2012 Our Story Collection, and in 2010 was shortlisted for The Age Book of the Year Award Non-Fiction Prize and for the 2010 Human Rights Commission Literature Award.  The ANZ LitLovers reading group chose it for its June selection, where it segues nicely into Indigenous Literature Week at ANZ LitLovers (July 7-14).  […]

  11. […] of any kind of book, as long as it’s by an indigenous author.  AS you can see from the sign up page you can contribute your review on your own blog, on a GoodReads or Library Thing page, or with a […]

  12. […] books by Indigenous women authors from any genre.  In addition, to commemorate NAIDOC week itself, Lisa Hill of ANZ LitLovers blog has set up a challenge to review literary books by male and female Indigenous authors from anywhere […]

  13. Hello Ms.Hill and fellow readers,
    I look forward to commemorating Indigenous Literature Week. In recognition of Indigenous Authors, I plan to read the following books:
    On Sal Mal Lane by Ru Freeman
    Double Native by Fiona Wirrer-George Oochunyung
    Mazin Grace by Dylan Coleman
    The Boundary by Nicole Watson
    I look forward to seeing the everyone’s selected text(s).

    • That’s great, Sonia, I look forward to hearing what you think of them. I’ve only read two of them, so the others will be most interesting to hear about:)

  14. I am reading Red Dirt Talking, by Jacquelyn Wright, and True Country, by Kim Scott, for Indigenous Literature Week. I may write something about differences among Indigenous writers globally.

  15. I have now signed up and have two books that I plan to link, Rachel Hennessy’s The heaven I swallowed and Anita Heiss’s Black like me.

  16. […] review is my contribution towards the Indigenous Literature Week Challenge run by Lisa Hill at ANZ LitLovers LitBlog. This Challenge focuses on NAIDOC Week, 7-14 July, but […]

  17. Hi Lisa, I’m planning to read Ambelin Kwaymullina’s ‘The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf’ and Melissa Lucashenko’s ‘Mullumbimby’, both of which have been on my desk for too long! Cheers, Jessica.

    • Fantastic, welcome, Jessica, and thank you for promoting ILW at AWW *warm smile*

  18. […] in the Griffith Review of November 2009. I enjoyed the story and so, in honour of NAIDOC Week and ANZLitLovers Indigenous Literature Week, I thought I’d review another of her Griffith Review contributions. This one, “How […]

  19. […] for the Australian Women Writers’ Challenge 2013,  ANZLitLovers Indigenous Writers Week, and Global Women of Color. Lisa (ANZLitLovers) and Marilyn (Me, You and Books) both enjoyed the […]

  20. […] PS If you haven’t signed up to participate yet, or want to know more about ILW, please click here. […]

  21. Hello fellow readers,
    I look forward to participating in the 2015 Indigenous Literature Week initiative. I’m considering reading the new middle grade novel Sister Heart by Sally Morgan, the young adult novels Becoming Kirrali Lewis by Jane Harrison and Calypso Summer by Jared Thomas, or the novels Legacy by Larissa Behrendt.and Butterfly Song by Terri Janke.

Please share your thoughts and join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: