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Source: Adelaide Festival website
Bruce Pascoe Bruce Pascoe i(A30613 works by)
Also writes as: Murray Gray ; Leopold Glass
Born: Established: 1947 Richmond, East Melbourne - Richmond area, Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Gender: Male
Heritage: Aboriginal ; Aboriginal Boonwurrung / Boonerwrung / Bunurong ; Aboriginal Yuin
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Bruce Pascoe, a Bunurong man, is a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative of southern Victoria, and an award-winning Australian writer, editor, and anthologist. His works have been published nationally and internationally, and have won several national literary competitions. He has combined writing fiction and non-fiction with a career as a successful publisher and has been the director of the Australian Studies Project for the Commonwealth Schools Commission. He has also worked as a teacher, farmer, fisherman, barman, farm fence contractor, lecturer, Aboriginal language researcher, archaeological site worker, and editor. He appeared in the SBS TV program, First Australians.

His Jim Fox series of novels were partially set in the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya (West Papua). As a member of the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative, Pascoe edited school readers on the history and language of the Wathaurong people, demonstrating his interest in Indigenous language retrieval and teaching. He has spoken at conferences on Aboriginal culture and edited several anthologies and translations of Australian stories.

Pascoe edited and published Australian Short Stories (1982-1998), a quarterly journal of short fiction. Publishing experimental and traditional short stories by established writers and enabling new writers to demonstrate their potential, the journal continued under the editorship of Howard Firkin at Moolton Press until 2000. Pascoe has run Pascoe Publishing and Seaglass Books with his wife Lyn Harwood.

His book exploring the history of Aboriginal agriculture Dark Emu : Black Seeds : Agriculture or Accident? has attracted considerable attention for its discussion of land management practices in Australia prior to colonisation.

His non-fiction works include:

  • With Krishna-Pillay, Dictionary of Wathawoorroong, (1st ed, Geelong, Vic: Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-op, 2007.
  • With Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative & Coast Action, Wathaurong: The People Who Said No. Nth. Geelong, Vic: Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-Operative, 2003.



Most Referenced Works


  • Who's Who of Australian Writers notes that Pascoe was the author of a play Dearly Beloved (1982). It has not been traced.

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Young Dark Emu Broome : Magabala Books , 2019 15601694 2019 single work prose children's fiction children's

'Bruce Pascoe has collected a swathe of literary awards for Dark Emu and now he has brought together the research and compelling first person accounts in a book for younger readers. Using the accounts of early European explorers, colonists and farmers, Bruce Pascoe compellingly argues for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. He allows the reader to see Australia as it was before Europeans arrived – a land of cultivated farming areas, productive fisheries, permanent homes, and an understanding of the environment and its natural resources that supported thriving villages across the continent. Young Dark Emu - A Truer History asks young readers to consider a different version of Australia’s history pre-European colonisation.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2020 shortlisted Booksellers Choice Award Children's Book of the Year
2020 shortlisted CBCA Book of the Year Awards Eve Pownall Award for Information Books
2020 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Books
2020 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Book of the Year for Younger Children
2020 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notable Book
2020 shortlisted Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature Award for Children's Literature
2020 shortlisted Indie Awards Children's
y separately published work icon Mrs Whitlam Broome : Magabala Books , 2016 9346257 2016 single work children's fiction children's

'Marnie Clark of Curdie Vale can ride but she doesn’t have a horse. She dreams of owning one and having the whole world to ride it in. Before too long Marnie is gifted Mrs Margaret ‘Maggie’ Whitlam, a beautiful, big Clydesdale – bold, fearless and able to jump anything.'

'From the very first ride, Marnie and Maggie get more adventure than they bargained for. Soon Marnie is learning to negotiate newfound friendships, pony club and how to stand up for what she believes in. Will her friendship with George Costa, another outsider, make being accepted harder? Or will being true to yourself be the hardest decision Marnie makes?' (Source: Newsouth Books website)

2017 shortlisted CBCA Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year: Younger Readers
2017 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notable Book
y separately published work icon Dark Emu : Black Seeds : Agriculture or Accident? Broome : Magabala Books , 2014 7202021 2014 single work criticism

'Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the 'hunter-gatherer' tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Accomplished author Bruce Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required.'

Source: Publisher's website.

'Pascoe puts forward a compelling argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing - behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag.'

Source: Back cover blurb. 

2016 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Book of the Year
2016 joint winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Indigenous Writer's Prize
2014 shortlisted Queensland Literary Awards History Book Award
2014 shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Indigenous Writing

Known archival holdings

Pascoe Publishing Company manuscript collection of drafts, typescripts, galley proofs and correspondence relating in particular to 'Australian Short Stories' University of New South Wales Australian Defence Force Academy Australian Defence Force Academy Library (ACT)
Papera of Bruce Pascoe and Pacsoe Publishing National Library of Australia (ACT)
Last amended 20 Jan 2020 10:31:34
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