'An authoritative survey of Australian Aboriginal writing over two centuries, across a wide range of fiction and non-fiction genres. Including some of the most distinctive writing produced in Australia, it offers rich insights into Aboriginal culture and experience...
'The anthology includes journalism, petitions and political letters from both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as major works that reflect the blossoming of Aboriginal poetry, prose and drama from the mid-twentieth century onwards. Literature has been used as a powerful political tool by Aboriginal people in a political system which renders them largely voiceless. These works chronicle the ongoing suffering of dispossession, but also the resilience of Aboriginal people across the country, and the hope and joy in their lives.' (Publisher's blurb)
'Some of the best, most significant writing produced in Australia over more than two centuries is gathered in this landmark anthology. Covering all genres - from fiction, poetry and drama to diaries, letters, essays and speeches - the anthology maps the development of one of the great literatures in English in all its energy and variety.
'The writing reflects the diverse experiences of Australians in their encounter with their extraordinary environment and with themselves. This is literature of struggle, conflict and creative survival. It is literature of lives lived at the extremes, of frontiers between cultures, of new dimensions of experience, where imagination expands.
'This rich, informative and entertaining collection charts the formation of an Australian voice that draws inventively on Indigenous words, migrant speech and slang, with a cheeky, subversive humour always to the fore. For the first time, Aboriginal writings are interleaved with other English-language writings throughout - from Bennelong's 1796 letter to the contemporary flowering of Indigenous fiction and poetry - setting up an exchange that reveals Australian history in stark new ways.
'From vivid settler accounts to haunting gothic tales, from raw protest to feisty urban satire and playful literary experiment, from passionate love poetry to moving memoir, the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature reflects the creative eloquence of a society.
'Chosen by a team of expert editors, who have provided illuminating essays about their selections, and with more than 500 works from over 300 authors, it is an authoritative survey and a rich world of reading to be enjoyed.' (Publisher's blurb)
Allen and Unwin have a YouTube channel with a number of useful videos on the Anthology.
"The Kadaitcha Sung tells the story of Tommy Gubba, son of Koobara, son of the chief of the Kadaitcha clan, and Fleur, a white woman, of Northern European descent. Tommy was born secretly after his uncle Booka Roth killed his father to become the last of the Kadaitcha clan. The Kadaitcha clan is in the novel an "ancient clan of sorcerers" (1) called by Biamee to stand among the tribes of the South Land (i.e. Australia) when he returned among the stars. Tommy is initiated and called by Biamee to recuperate the heart of the Rainbow Serpent stolen by Booka Roth, without which Biamee cannot "complete his earthly manifestation". Ensuing from the war that Booka waged against his own people, the veil of mists that Biamee had set upon the South Land is lifted, and "other mortals" come from "all corners of the globe and from every branch of the family of man" (33) and join forces with Booka, defeating the tribes of South Land that cannot match the weapons of the invaders (34). Tommy is to take revenge on the migloo ("fair-skinned" people), who have "raped and pillaged" (31) his people, and conquered the entire land (35). A fast pace narrative, The Kadaitcha Sung is also an action-packed novel, to which this quick introduction cannot do justice."