Electronic Book Format: www.ebooks.com
April 2007, pb, 234x153mm, 304pp, b/w illus
RRP $39.95 incl. GST
The author’s greatest strength is his construction of a narrative comparing contemporary Australian politics, culture and identity with the formative years of contact histories. — Steve Kinnane
Convincing Ground is a wide-ranging, personal and powerful work which resonates with historical and contemporary Australian debates about identity, dispossession, memory and community.
Pascoe ranges across the national contemporary political stage, critiquing the great Australian silence when it comes to dealing respectfully with the construction of the nation’s Indigenous past.
Forget the history wars. Pascoe has written a book for all Australians. He believes early colonial behaviour on Gunditchmurra lands (near Portland, Victoria) shaped us then and shapes us still – physically and intellectually. Through a close, critical examination of the major historical works and witness accounts, Pascoe draws uncanny parallels between the techniques, language and results of the invasion to contemporary times.
For Pascoe, the Australian character was not forged at Gallipoli, Eureka and the back of Bourke, but in the more satanic furnace of Murdering Flat, Convincing Ground and Werribee. He knows we can’t reverse the past, but we can bring our soul in from the fog of delusion. He proposes a way forward, beyond shady intellectual argument and immature nationalism: strengths intact; weaknesses acknowledged and addressed.
Bruce Pascoe is a widely published and award-winning writer, editor and anthologist. With Lyn Harwood, he edited and published Australian Short Stories for sixteen years. He is currently compiling a dictionary of the Wathaurong language.