Harley, a man of Nyoongar ancestry, finds himself at a difficult point in the history of his country, family and self. As the apparently successful outcome of his white grandfather’s enthusiastic attempts to isolate and breed the ‘first white man born’, he wants to be a failure. But would such failure mean his Nyoongar ancestors could label him a success? And how can the attempted genocide represented by his family history be told?
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PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
‘Benang is brilliant. It is a mature, complex, sweeping historical novel which will remind people of Rushdie, Carey and Grenville at their best. This is an absolute page turner and in the end we are left with a sense of joy and gratitude that such stories are still possible – that the silence has been broken.’ Sydney Morning Herald
‘… Benang soars to the level of superb storytelling with an emotional punch to the guts, not unlike Toni Morrison’s Beloved.’ Weekend Australian
‘Haunting and poignant, Benang pierces the heart even as it seeks to lance the savage bleeding of the wounds of white settlement in Australia.’ Canberra Times
Kate Challis RAKA Award (Winner 2001)
Miles Franklin Award (Winner 2000)
Queensland Premier’s Literary Award (Shortlisted 2000)
Tasmania Pacific Literary Award (Shortlisted 2001)
Dublin IMPAC Literary Award (Longlisted 2000)
Western Australian Premier’s Book Award Fiction Prize (Winner 1999)