With his 2014 book, Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe presented robust evidence that entrenched assumptions about Aboriginal hunter-gatherer societies were false. Nobody predicted the intense, ongoing interest that would follow. Drawing from the journals of European explorers, Pascoe showed that pre-settlement Aboriginal people engaged in various forms of agriculture.
Dark Emu itself was just the beginning of a series of challenging conversations led by Pascoe about the way Aboriginal people lived before colonisation. At Bendigo Writers Festival, with writer and academic Tony Birch, Pascoe will revisit Dark Emu and expand on the book’s research findings and reception. What does challenging the past of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people mean for the present?
Our bookseller at this event will be Dymocks Bendigo.
Presented in partnership with Bendigo Writers Festival.
Bruce Pascoe is a Yuin, Bunurong and Tasmanian man born in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond. He’s the author of the best-selling Dark Emu, Young Dark Emu: A Truer History, Loving Country: A Guide to Sacred Australia and over thirty other books including the short story collections Night Animals and Nightjar, and academic texts including The Little Red Yellow Black Book with AIATSIS. Dark Emu (Magabala Books) won Book of the Year and the Indigenous Writer’s Prize at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards in 2016, and has now sold in excess of 200,000 copies.
Tony Birch is the author of three novels: the bestselling The White Girl, winner of the 2020 NSW Premier's Award for Indigenous Writing, and shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Prize; Ghost River, winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2012. He is also the author of Shadowboxing, and three short story collections – Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People.
In 2017 Tony was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. In 2021 he will release two new books, a poetry collection, Whisper Songs, and a new short story collection, Dark as Last Night. Tony Birch is also an activist, historian and essayist.