Posted by: Lisa Hill | July 10, 2017

Wrap-up from Indigenous Literature Week 2017

Well, here we are at the end of Indigenous Literature Week and I want to say thank you to everyone who participated, with a special welcome to those who’ve joined in for the first time, and a big bouquet to those loyal readers who have contributed in previous years and again this year.  (I shouldn’t single anyone out, but really, #RoundOfApplause to Sue from Whispering Gums who managed to contribute a review even though she’s away on holiday in the US!)

There are eighteen new reviews of books by Indigenous authors on the 2017 Reviews page  and they have all been added to the ANZ LitLovers Indigenous Reading List which is a permanent resource accessed by schools and universities, and archived by Pandora.

The 2017 reviews include novels, a play, short stories, poetry, memoir, a children’s book and anthologies from Aboriginal authors around Australia, a Maori novel and two reviews of works by Indigenous peoples from Canada.  You can find any of my 2017 reviews by clicking on the yellow ILW logos anywhere on the blog, and you can find links to the other contributions both on the authors on the 2017 Reviews page  and the ANZ LitLovers Indigenous Reading List as above.

Given that the theme for this year’s NAIDOC week was  Our Languages Matter’  it would have been lovely to have had a review of a bilingual book but alas, none seemed to come our way and we hope for this in years to come.  (Children’s books are leading the way in bilingualism: Kim Scott (with input from his Noongar community) has written at least two that I know of, and there are others that I used to read with my students when I was still teaching, though some of those were out of print.)

As always, although NAIDOC Week is over, reviews of Indigenous books are welcome any time.  I will monitor the Reviews page for any additional 2017 contributions until the end of July, and readers can also add them any time through comments on the ANZ LitLovers Indigenous Reading List .

Publishers are always welcome with news of new titles!

Thanks again everyone!


  1. Great to hear this has been so successful Lisa. I am behind, because of a combination of work, school holidays and my father being in hospital but I have just started reading Am I Black Enough for you by Anita Heiss (which I found out about through this initiative). No review this year but joining in in spirit.


    • Not to worry, and thanks for dropping by when things are so hectic for you. I hope your dad is better soon.


  2. I will take you up on your offer to include comments and additions to the reading list. I would like to read Marie Munkara’s story collection Every Secret Thing and Stan Grant’s memoir, The Tears of Strangers.


    • Every Secret Thing is terrific, and I’d also recommend A Most Peculiar Act. Both are wickedly funny, but also very revealing about mission life.
      I’ve read Stan Grant’s Talking to My Country, but not his memoir, that’s on my wishlist for next year.


  3. […] For Lisa’s Indigenous Literature Week […]


  4. Good for you for doing this again. I apologize for getting mixed up about the dates. When I went to your page to submit something I realized ai was too late to be accepted. It was mostly lauding Celia’s Song by Lee Maracle as the best immersion into the culture that I know. I also read and posted reviews of Scott/Hayden is the Australian Fiction Review which you suggested. I do want to get back to reading more Indigenous writing and this year you have given me some leads to get me started again.


  5. Well done on another successful week of promoting work by indigenous authors. That list you have compiled must be one of the most comprehensive around?


    • Gosh, Karen, I don’t know. There are other lists (I’ve listed them in the intro to the master list in the top menu, but I don’t know of any others that link to reviews.
      But whatever, it’s a collaborative project with contributions from far and wide, which is really what makes it such a good resource. I’m mostly just the one who harvests the reviews and puts them all together:)


      • Hey, take credit where credit is due! You put the work into the collation or to use the buzz term right now, curating the list so give yourself a well deserved pat on the back


  6. […] Our Ways, Our World edited by Pat Dudgeon and others.  I reviewed this here for NAIDOC week and ANZ Litlover’s Indigenous Literature Week. The women’s stories about the impact of forcibly removing Aboriginal children from their […]


  7. Ah Lisa, thanks for the #roundofapplause! I was so overseas that I didn’t see this, until now I’m back. It’s always a pleasure to contribute to the week, even though I never manage to contribute as much as I like. I’m planning to be away next July if I possibly can too but will do my best. (No more cold Julys if I can help it, is my new motto!)

    Anyhow, congratulations on another successful week. As Karen says, you are building up quite a little database/list now.


    • Ha ha, I shall have to start by promos earlier so that you have plenty of time to set one up before you go.
      Ironically, here in Melbourne, winter has saved its worst weather for August…


      • Hmm, must say that today is pretty unpleasant here in the ‘berra. It’s a maximum of 8°C for us. Horrible. But, it is supposed to be 15-16°C in a few days. (BTW We’ve just booked a two week northern Australian trip for July next year. I’m serious about this July business!)


        • Hmm, that does sound a bit bleak.
          I must say that I don’t mind cold weather much: our house is cosy and warm, the car heats up in no time, and now that I can take the dog for a walk at a more congenial time than 7:00AM (when it was indeed rather brisk) my brief ventures outside are not too arduous.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, our house is too and I’ve always argued exactly what you are saying re managing winter (i.e. warm house, warm car, etc). But I’m facing the fact that winter affects my skin (eczema). It always has – the cold does it, and the heating does it. I was so much better the three years we lived in LA. I realised then that really, I should be living in Perth or perhaps Adelaide – hot dry summers, mild moist winters. A Mediterranean climate in other words!! See, I should move to the Riviera! I love the dry heat – which I know you don’t like!)


            • No, I can tolerate dry heat, it’s humidity I can’t stand…thank heavens for guilt-free aircon, powered by our 17 solar panels. (Which are going gangbusters even in the winter, powering the aircon on its reverse-cycle).


              • Oh we agree then. Humidity is stressful for me too. And yes, the solar panels certainly relieve the guilt. (And we have just broken even this year on ours – at least we think so – so that’s an even bigger plus!)


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