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Cover image courtesy UQP
y separately published work icon Swallow the Air selected work   short story  
Alternative title: Dust on Waterglass
Issue Details: First known date: 2003... 2003 Swallow the Air
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Swallow the Air follows the life of 15-year-old May Gibson, an Aboriginal girl from New South Wales whose mother commits suicide. May and her brother go to live with their aunt, but eventually May travels further afield, first to Redfern's Block in Sydney, then to the Northern Territory, and finally into central New South Wales. She travels to escape, but also in pursuit of a sense of her own history, family, and identity.

Exhibitions

6939401
6943740
7740091

Reading Australia

Reading Australia

This work has Reading Australia teaching resources.

Unit Suitable For

AC: Year 11 (English Unit 2). Note: activities can be adapted for Year 10 or Year 12.

Themes

Aboriginality, belonging, change, discovery, family, identity, journey

General Capabilities

Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Information and communication technology, Intercultural understanding, Literacy, Personal and social

Notes

  • Dedication: For You
    For the words that were whispered
    Something mellifluous
    For the Moondance
    For love
    Somewhere distant, silent, gone.
  • The short stories in Swallow the Air are inter-connected, so that the work can also be read as a novel.
  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Contents

* Contents derived from the St Lucia, Indooroopilly - St Lucia area, Brisbane - North West, Brisbane, Queensland,:University of Queensland Press , 2006 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Swallow the Air, Tara June Winch , 2003 single work short story (p. 1-9)
Grab, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 11-17)
Cloudbursting, Tara June Winch , 2005 single work short story At the End of the Rainbow Cloud Busting (p. 19-28)
My Bleeding Palm, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 29-37)
Bushfire, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 39-47)
Leaving Paradise, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 49-60)
To Run, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 61-74)
Territory, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 75-89)
The Block, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 91-105)
Chocolate, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 107-116)
Wantok, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 117-123)
Painted Dreaming, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 125-132)
Mapping Waterglass, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 133-141)
Just Dust, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 143-148)
Cocoon, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 149-154)
Bila Snake, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 155-161)
Mission, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 163-173)
Country, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 175-184)
The Jacaranda Tree, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 185-190)
Home, Tara June Winch , 2006 single work short story (p. 191-198)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 2003

Works about this Work

BlackWords : Indigenous Stories Told Collectively Anita Heiss , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: The BlackWords Essays 2015; (p. 5)

In this essay Heiss discusses and explains the important role of anthologies in the creation of communities of writers and in acknowledging, consolidating and launching writing careers.

y separately published work icon Tara June Winch's Swallow the Air Bruce Pattinson , Seven Hills : Five Senses Education , 2014 8074070 2014 single work criticism
Identity and Exile in Swallow the Air Melissa Lucashenko , 2013 single work essay
— Appears in: Reading Australia 2013;

An introduction to Swallow the Air, this work was written for the Reading Australia project. Novelist Melissa Lucashenko writes: ‘when May Gibson's mother dies unexpectedly beneath the jacaranda tree in the backyard, and her small family disintegrates around her, May's search is not for her Aboriginality. It is, rather, for somewhere to belong as she used to belong in her mother's presence. For somewhere she can feel safe and whole, and simply be loved: probably the most universal of human quests.’

Arts Cuts Will Reward Only the Unthinking Kate Middleton , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 5 April 2012; (p. 11)
y separately published work icon Swallow the Air, Tara Winch Angie Barillaro , Essendon North : Radiant Heart Publishing , 2011 9151197 2011 single work criticism
Snapshots of a Life Katharine England , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 29 April 2006; (p. 12)

— Review of Swallow the Air Tara June Winch , 2003 selected work short story ; Madonna of the Eucalypts Karen Sparnon , 2006 single work novel
Some Rough Diamonds Are Best Left Unpolished Kathy Hunt , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 13-14 May 2006; (p. 14-15)

— Review of Swallow the Air Tara June Winch , 2003 selected work short story
Promising Debut Shows a Writer to Watch Diane Stubbings , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 20 May 2006; (p. 13)

— Review of Swallow the Air Tara June Winch , 2003 selected work short story
Sparkling Journey Starts with a Punch Alexa Moses , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 20-21 May 2006; (p. 35)

— Review of Swallow the Air Tara June Winch , 2003 selected work short story

This review discusses Swallow the Air's narrative structure, characterisation and dialogue, and the prose style.

The Eyes Have It Juliette Hughes , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 3 June 2006; (p. 21)

— Review of Swallow the Air Tara June Winch , 2003 selected work short story ; Careless Deborah Robertson , 2006 single work novel
Tara: Star on the Horizon Nicole Mason , 2004 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 20 October no. 337 2004; (p. 16)
The Face : Tara June Winch : Writer Rosemary Neill , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 6-7 May 2006; (p. 3)
Up Close Lizzie Corser , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: Brisbane News , 10 - 16 May no. 586 2006; (p. 5)
Woman of the World Sunanda Creagh , 2006 single work biography
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 13-14 May 2006; (p. 3-31)
Untitled Madonna Duffy , 2006 single work correspondence
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 27-28 May 2006; (p. 2)
Madonna Duffy, managing editor at University of Queensland Press, takes issue with some of the claims made by Kathy Hunt in Hunt's review of Swallow the Air. Duffy states that '[t]his is not just an issue of a reviewer passing comment on an editorial process to which she was not privy; it is also a case of ill-informed assumptions about the nature of indigenous writing and what it should or shouldn't be.'
Last amended 19 Jul 2018 13:16:22
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