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y separately published work icon Taboo single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Taboo
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'From Kim Scott, two-times winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, comes a work charged with ambition and poetry, in equal parts brutal, mysterious and idealistic, about a young woman cast into a drama that has been playing for over two hundred years ...

'Taboo takes place in the present day, in the rural South-West of Western Australia, and tells the story of a group of Noongar people who revisit, for the first time in many decades, a taboo place: the site of a massacre that followed the assassination, by these Noongar's descendants, of a white man who had stolen a black woman. They come at the invitation of Dan Horton, the elderly owner of the farm on which the massacres unfolded. He hopes that by hosting the group he will satisfy his wife's dying wishes and cleanse some moral stain from the ground on which he and his family have lived for generations.

'But the sins of the past will not be so easily expunged.

'We walk with the ragtag group through this taboo country and note in them glimmers of re-connection with language, lore, country. We learn alongside them how countless generations of Noongar may have lived in ideal rapport with the land. This is a novel of survival and renewal, as much as destruction; and, ultimately, of hope as much as despair.' (Publication summary)




  • To Ryan Brown, ngan ngoon

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

From Benang to Taboo, Kim Scott Memorialises Events We Don’t Want to Remember Jo Jones , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 24 August 2018;

'Over the past three decades the Miles Franklin shortlists have contained a healthy serve of history, from the poised historical fiction of authors such as David Malouf and Roger McDonald, to the past-in-present fabulations of Alexis Wright and Richard Flanagan. Another is Kim Scott, twice winner of the award, and part of the current shortlist with his most recent novel Taboo.'  (Introduction)

Your Guide to the Miles Franklin Shortlist : A Kaleidoscopic Portrait of a Diverse Nation Jen Webb , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 23 August 2018; The Guardian Australia , 23 August 2018;

'The Miles Franklin award is famously for “a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases”. That’s a very broad palette, yet for most of the award’s existence — 1957 to the present — it has recognised a rather narrow field of “Australian life”.' (Introduction)

Taboo Brings Scott More Award Success Keira Jenkins , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 11 July no. 680 2018; (p. 21)

'Kim Scott started writing with the intention of being published when he was teaching English.' (Introduction)

NSW Premier's Literary Awards : Kim Scott and Bram Presser Scoop up Accolades Dee Jefferson , 2018 single work column
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , May 2018;

'Melbourne writer, criminal lawyer and punk rocker Bram Presser has won three of the 12 categories in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards.' 

Taboo Book of the Year 2018 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 16 May no. 676 2018; (p. 33)

'Noongar author Kim Scott's novel Taboo - a story of redemption set on massacre country in Western Australia - has received the Book of the Year award in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards.' 

Review of Taboo, by Kim Scott, Picador-Australia, 2017 Rashida Murphy , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Landscapes , vol. 8 no. 1 2018;

— Review of Taboo Kim Scott , 2017 single work novel

'Kim Scott's Taboo is a story about beginnings and endings.This novel reminds the reader of the circularity of stories, and how those stories are shaped by intent and weighed by landscape. Scott speaks of dispossession, abuse, colonialism, addiction and racism in lyrical and melancholy prose. The men and women who walk through these pages are startlingly aware of their failings and equally forgiving of those failings in others. There are no quick fixes and the story vacillates between despair and hope. Yet this is not a grim story. The lucidity of its prose lifts it beyond the despair in its pages and reminds us that there are no perfect words and no easy resolutions to the trials of our First Nations people. An important and devastating story for our times.' (Publication abstract)

[Review Essay] Taboo KN , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 22-28 July 2017;

'Some of the most exciting, tonally ambitious and uncompromising fiction that has been published in Australia in recent years has come from Aboriginal authors – most notably, the remarkable Waanyi writer Alexis Wright and the extraordinary Noongar writer Kim Scott. A new novel from the multi-award-winning Scott is something to take seriously. '  (Introduction)

Forever Beginning Stephen Romei , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 22 July 2017; (p. 16)
Park/Plaque Tony Hughes-d'Aeth , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , August no. 393 2017; (p. 35)

'When a new novel from Kim Scott appears, one feels compelled to talk not only about it as a work of fiction by a leading Australian writer, but also about its cultural significance. In this sense a Kim Scott novel is an event, and Taboo does not disappoint.' (Introduction)

In Search of Another Narrative Shannon Burns , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Monthly Blog , August 2017;

'With ‘Taboo’, Kim Scott sketches out a new way of accepting our histories, and imagining our future.

Humour, Hope Relieve Tensions Rohan Wilson , 2017 single work essay review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 5 August 2017; (p. 18)

'These days the release of a new Kim Scott novel feels like a literary event. It wasn’t always this way. His first two books, True Country (1993) and Benang (1999), established him more as a writer’s writer: a brilliant, if raw, voice calling to us from across the Nullarbor. But with his previous book, the gobsmacking That Deadman Dance (2010), Scott announced himself as the country’s most important novelist.

'It was a book that took a fresh look at Australia’s past. We had the typical scenes of first contact as white settlers arrived in Albany and began to alienate Aboriginal land, yet in Scott’s telling this didn’t devolve into violence.' (Introduction)

Last amended 24 Oct 2018 07:57:57