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In playful, musical prose, this book explores the early contact between the Aboriginal Noongar people and the first European settlers. The vel's hero is a young Noongar man named Bobby Wabalanginy. Clever, resourceful and eager to please, Bobby befriends the new arrivals, joining them hunting whales, tilling the land, exploring the hinterland and establishing the fledgling colony. But slowly - by design and by accident - things begin to change. Not everyone is happy with how the colony is developing. As the Europeans impose ever stricter rules and regulations in order to keep the peace, Bobby's Elders decide they must respond in kind. Supple and accessible in style, generous in spirit and outlook, 'That Deadman Dance' is a fascinating, powerful portrait of Australia's earliest days.
Born in 1947, Kim Scott's ancestral Noongar country is the south-east coast of Western Australia between Gairdner River and Cape Arid. His cultural Elders use the term Wirlomin to refer to their clan, and the Norman Tindale nomenclature identifies people of this area as Wudjari/Koreng. Kim's professional background is in education and the arts. He is the author of two novels, True Country and Benang, poetry and numerous pieces of short fiction.
Winner of Miles Franklin Literary Award 2011 and Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best Book - SE Asia and South Pacific 2011.