Epigraph: We carry in our hearts the true country / And that cannot be stolen / We follow in the steps of our ancestry / And that cannot be broken. 'The Dead Heart' - Midnight Oil
(then why) ... this sense / of gain and loss, the now I am / not there, then, despite the giveaway / smile? I am born exile, or they / are tokens of infinity; and distance / like love is a necessary fiction. 'Distances' - Charles Boyle
'The floating, shifting narrative of Kim Scott’s first novel True Country (1993) is one of the most captivating elements of the text that explores contemporary modes of Aboriginality. The narrative of True Country does not simply move the story from event to event; it underpins the moral of the text itself. With shifting perspectives and an unwavering sense of hope, the narrative embodies Billy’s acceptance into the community of Karnama, the home of his grandmother.' (Publication abstract)
'In True Country, the narrator draws the reader close and says, “You listen to me. We’re gunna make a story, true story. You might find it’s here you belong. A place like this.” (15) Although the narrator speaks of ‘(a) place like this’ as “a beautiful place (…). Call it our country, our country all ‘round here” (15), belonging, for the reader, for the characters in each of Scott’s novels, and for Scott himself, is more than settling into a physical environment, belonging is finding a place in the story.
'Mamang, Noongar Mambara Bakitj, Dwoort Baal Kaat, and Yira Boornak Nyininy are major achievements in Scott and The Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project’s process of returning, restoring and rejuvenating language and story within the Noongar community and for an ever-widening public. In their form, content and intent, the stories renegotiate ideas of place and placement, confronting personal, cultural and linguistic dislocations in Noongar lives as well as an ambivalent narrative landscape in which language and story are central to both a lingering colonialism and the process of decolonisation.' (Publication abstract)