Talking to my country

by Stan Grant

Other authorsDarren Holt (Cover designer), Kathy Luu (Photographer)
Hardcover, 2016



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Sydney, N.S.W. : HarperCollins Publishers Australia, 2016.

User reviews

LibraryThing member jusi
It says on the cover, 'The book that every Australian should read', and how true that is. There ought to be a copy in every schoolroom and library. Grant is a well-respected journalist and a proud Wiradjuri man, and he speaks from the heart when describing the relationship between his people and the rest of the Australian nation. He doesn't have answers to all the problems created by what are essentially two 'countries', but he will never cease asking the questions that go to right to the nub of the issues.
Too many white Australians talk about everyone 'moving on' from a history of massacre and deprivation of human rights that has been kept horribly quiet for too long. There are a few misunderstandings, therefore, that need ironing out before anyone can move anywhere.
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LibraryThing member lesleynicol
A brilliant book by well known TV journalist, Stan Grant.The story of his upbringing as the child of mixed race parents in a country town, is told against the background of his story of the disintegration of the Aboriginal race and of his people the Wiradjuri people. I was so moved and ashamed by this story, and it also told of the hardships of the very early Irish settlers and convicts from England and shows how they were also exploited by the wealthy settlers.The title of his book Talking to my Country" really means talking to the people of my country and is essential reading for all Australians.… (more)
LibraryThing member brakketh
Moving and beautifully written personal musings on the state of race politics in Australia. The impact of inter-generational trauma is incredibly tragic and thought provoking for any Australian.
LibraryThing member jody12
If there is one issue in which our group finds complete agreement it would have to be the matter of racism. Over the years we have read many novels with this as either an underlying or central theme. It can lead to a highly emotional discussion, but one that always leaves us passionately opposed to what we consider one of the worst of all human flaws.

Grant’s Talking to My Country did not disappoint in the discussion stakes, and although the general opinion was one of high regard for what the author was saying, our views differed on how he said it.

Some felt that it was an especially personal account of suffered racism and on that level, very confronting. Grant’s childhood experiences … consistent relocating, indifferent teachers, juvenile justice … were not overly surprising to us and while he did encounter a certain amount of ‘luck’ in his educational path, we felt the strong family unit he was raised in helped in no small way to create a solid, resilient character. Something he put to good use in his chosen career.

There were those of us who tired a little of the repetitive nature of his dialogue, feeling he laboured the point just a little and there was some discussion of the reconciliation debate and what has (and hasn’t) changed in the last 20-25 years. How racists are Australians and why don’t those who believe differently speak out?

Then there is the Adam Goodes speech, the Australia Day invasion debate, deaths in custody and Indigenous education … all fiery issues that we spent the better part of 90 minutes discussing.

But in the end there were but two things said which sent a jolt through most of us …

As quoted from Stan Grant ‘… ours is an inheritance of sadness …’

And from Shirley ‘… I was brought up to be thankful that I was born in Australia, with a white face …’

As sad and alarming as both these statements are, they could be the start of moving towards a different way of thinking. Let’s hope that day arrives sooner rather than later.

Dapto Tuesday Book Club
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Local notes

signed by the author; inscription: To Victoria Regional Meeting Society of Friends, Stan Grant

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