Posted by: Lisa Hill | June 1, 2013

New titles by indigenous authors from Magabala Books

ILW 2013 I’m too crook with a lousy cold to go to the Williamstown Literary festival to hear Judith Armstrong present her session on Faction and Fiction today so instead I’ve been busy getting ready for Indigenous Literature Week 2013 here at ANZ LitLovers next month (July 7-14).

I had an email from Magabala Books during the week to let me know about a couple of titles to include in the Indigenous Authors Reading List.

First up is of course

  • Ruby Moonlight by Ali Cobby Eckermann, which has just won the coveted NSW Premier’s Book of the Year Award.  The novel also won the black&write! kuril dhagun Indigenous Writing Fellowship through the State Library of Queensland.

Ruby Moonlight is a novel of the impact of colonisation in mid north South Australia around 1880.   The main character, Ruby, refugee of a massacre, shelters in the woods where she befriends an Irishman trapper. The poems convey how fear of discovery is overcome by the need for human contact, which, in a tense unravelling of events, is forcibly challenged by an Aboriginal lawman. The natural world is richly observed and Ruby’s courtship is measured by the turning of the seasons.

Ali Cobby Eckermann is a celebrated poet and writer.  She lives in Koolunga, South Australia, where she has established an Aboriginal writer’s retreat. She identifies with the Yankunytjatjara / Kokatha from the north west desert country of South Australia.  Her poems and short stories have been published in various anthologies, journals and magazines, and she has won several awards including

  • First Prize in ATSI Survival Poetry competition in 2006,
  • First Prize Dymocks Red Earth Poetry Award NT in 2008, and was
  • Highly Commended for the Marion Eldridge Award in 2009.

Her poetry has been translated and published in Croatia, Indonesia, Greek and New Zealand. She is also featured on Poetry International’s website.

Her first verse novel His Fathers Eyes was published by Oxford University Press in 2011, as part of the Yarning Strong educational resource kit.

(I think Ruby Moonlight has Sue from Whispering Gum’s name on it, she is very good at reviewing verse novels!)

Also, though this is not due for release until September, keep an eye out for:

  • Elephants in the Bush and Other Yamatji Yarns by Clarrie Cameron from the Nhanhagardi tribe of Champion Bay, WA.  According to the publicity this is a kind of Aesop’s Fables with attitude, and it will appeal to readers of comic humour.


Fishpond: Ruby Moonlight or direct from Magabala Books


  1. I’m in Lisa…! Just as soon as I find time to link up and what not.. It’s fine to link to reviews posted already this year?


  2. Hi Lisa
    Hope you’re feeling better. I may not be in time for Indigenous Literature Week but I’d love to review for you – any title you had in mind.


    • Hi Dina, I’m well over the cold now, thank you:)
      I’d be delighted if you read any book of your choice, just review it on your blog and let me know the URL and I will add it to the list of reviews – which is growing nicely even though ILW doesn’t start till next week!


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