Indigenous writer Bruce Pascoe: ‘we need novels that are true to the land’

Pascoe has strong words about Indigenous representation in Australian literature, highlighting a number of prominent writers whose work he says have been incorrectly dubbed “reconciliation novels”, including The Secret River by Kate Grenville and books by Tim Winton, Peter Goldsworthy and Patrick White.

“They’re very, very good writers. I’ve read them all, and I continue to read them. But when I get to the parts about Aboriginal Australia I have to put the book down, because it’s so wrong,” he says.

Pascoe has had “civilised arguments” with Grenville about her 2005 novel, contending that the Aboriginal characters of The Secret River have no agency. “They’re just there as cardboard cutouts for the white actors to act against.”

By Monica Tan; more at The Guardian

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