Posted by: Lisa Hill | June 26, 2015

A date for your reading diary: 2015 Indigenous Literature Week at ANZ LitLovers

ilw 2015

As regular readers know, ANZ LitLovers hosts Indigenous Literature Week each year in the second week of July to coincide with NAIDOC Week here in Australia. (5-12 July, 2015).  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 all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate.  ANZ LitLovers’ contribution to NAIDOC week is to celebrate all forms of Indigenous Writing, and to promote books by Indigenous authors.  As Tony Birch has said, too many Australians remain ignorant of the creative and intellectual reach of Aboriginal writing, and IMO it’s a community of engaged readers who could change that.

But this year Indigenous Literature Week will take place to coincide with the First Nations Australia Writers’ Network Workshop, which is being held in Melbourne in August.

That gives us plenty of time to choose a book to read!

Thanks to contributions from a fantastic bunch of participants in previous ILWs the reading list is growingFor 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 for the reminder about this, to Jessica White who writes the Diversity Roundup at Australian Women Writers.


  1. I wondered if you were going to do it this year Lisa so this is good. August is probably also good, as July would be tricky for me this year. I hope to take part again.

    • Great, thanks, Sue:)
      I’m going to have to find some new books to read! I’ve got a few that were published a while ago, but nothing that’s been published recently.

      • Yes, I rather think I’m the same, though I might read one of the older ones.

  2. I’ll be in it. If I don’t read anything else I’ll read Benang

    • Wonderful! Glad to have you on board:)

  3. Hello Lisa and fellow readers, I look forward to taking an active reading role in the Indigenous Literature Week. I had the pleasure of reading the short story collection The Promise by Tony Birch, the memoir Too Afraid to Cry by Ali Cobby Eckermann, and the memoir Ain’t I Black Enough For You by Anita Heiss. Is there a fairly new or recently published book by an Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander author that you can recommend for me to read. I’ll find out if I can get a copy through the major book retailers in the United States.

    • Hello Sonia, lovely to have you join with us. What kind of books do you like? My reading list was last updated in mid 2014, but I’ll be adding to it soon, (see and you can follow the links from there to Anita Heiss’s list etc.

      • Fellow Readers. I wanted to write a few lines in acknowledgment of Indigenous Writers Week. I had the pleasure of reading Aboriginal authors Marie Munkara and Ellen Van Neerven. Munkara’s novel ‘A Most Peculiar Act’ was interesting to read. Her narrative style, humor, irony, and characterization was impressive. Nerveen’s story collection ‘Heat and Light’ was a remarkable read. I admire her narrative approach to realistic and science fiction subgenres as well as exploration of issues pertaining to race, class, displacement, and gender. I highly recommend readers to read ‘A Most Peculiar Act’ and ‘Heat and Light’.

        • Thanks for this, Sonia, I knew about Heat and Light, but A Most Peculiar Act wasn’t on my radar. I’ll add these two to my reading list here, thanks again:)

        • I’ll concur re Heat and light, Sonia. I thought it was a great read. It’s comprehensive, generous but pointed too.

          I knew Munkara had a another book out. I enjoyed her first one, so like Lisa will add this second one to me list.

          • Have you got a review of it that I can add to the list, Sue?

            • HI Lisa, Yes I have. Here it is:
              Ta, Sue

              • You beauty! Thanks, Sue.
                I should have looked but I am a bit snowed under with online responsibilities at the moment. I’m starting French again tomorrow so I’m continuing with Duolingo that I need to do every day if I am to keep up, and I’m also doing a MOOC about the literature of the English Country House. These things are, of course, intended as a distraction from other more worrisome things….

                • Thankyou! And good for you doing those courses. I’d love to do one but I don’t seem to find time to do anything extra these days. I’m involved in too many organisations and groups it seems. I keep telling myself one day. Anyhow, hope things are OK on the worrisome front.

                • The good thing is that the MOOC and Duolingo are online and I can do them (and the inevitable catchups) any time. And the f2f French – well, it’s like a promise to myself. I didn’t get there on this last trip, but I will next time. I will, I will, I will…

                • Yes, the online stuff is great but even now, without doing such courses, I seem to spend hours and hours at my laptop each day. I never thought I’d reach saturation but recently even hooked-on me is becoming a little frazzled.

                  And good on you with the French. It’s a long time since I did any language study. I think I’m too lazy now to focus hard on it!

                • Well, you’re still working part-time, so no wonder. I find that it’s easy to spend too long online (especially on days of miserable weather) and I let it get a bit out of hand in the first few weeks of my retirement – but now that I have time to do other things too, I find that I break it up with pottering around the vegie patch, doing a bit of baking, and taking walks of increasing length now that Amber is getting older and can manage visits to places further afield. And all those trips to Qld really make me appreciate being home…

                • Yes, true – the part-time work is intermittent but is full on when it’s on. I’m also secretary of an organisation whose work is hotting up and therefore so’s mine, and so on. It’s good to hear that you have found multiple ways to break up the computer work – gardening, cooking and walking are wonderful activities. And, hmm, I have another way too – vacuuming, which I must get up and do now, as my parents are coming to dinner tonight!!

                • Go to it!

  4. […] that Lisa has for the last few years run an Indigenous Literature Week during NAIDOC week but, as she wrote recently, this year she plans to run it to coincide with the First Nations Australia Writers’ Network […]

  5. […] and see Sonia’s comment from Sonia a.k.a. smaxine27 about why she enjoyed this book here). […]

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