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 worked as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, fencing contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archaeological site worker and editor. He’s also written 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 Ghost River, which won the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. He is also the author of Shadowboxing, and three short story collections – Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People.
Tony is a frequent contributor to ABC local and national radio, and a regular guest at writers’ festivals. He lives in Melbourne and is a Senior Research Fellow at Victoria University.