June 2018

 

At our June meeting, we discussed Talking To My Country by Stan Grant.

This book is a readable and thought-provoking work. It begins with the author taking his son back to his ancestral homeland, a place now named Poison Waterholes Creek. From there we move into the past and meet Stan’s mother and father. In all the story telling he gives a powerful and eye-opening revelation of what it means to be an articulate, educated and driven WIRADJURI man in today’s Australia.

The story goes back to the poverty of his childhood, his shame and anger at the plight of his people, his career success as a reporter for CNN, his pride and empathy with indigenous sporting greats. It was racially motivated incidents with the football great Adam Gedes, which acted as a catalyst for Stan Grant to write more to instill a greater understanding of the past and current struggle of his fellow countrymen. He highlights the policy failures of successive Australian governments and his writing is an open letter to us all. He cites the grim statistics of indigenous lives, taking the reader behind those statistics to those whose lives have been shaped by racism.

While the stain of dispossession may be part of Australia’s past, the author urges us not to turn away, but to work to address the wrongs. Yet in posing important questions, there are only hints of potential pathways for action. Far better strategies are given by articles written by this author, they are well edited and address more pertinent points.

A fault with this book is that it tends to be very heavy on internal reflection due to being part memoir and part meditation. Some sections are disjointed, and our book group found the repetition diminished the reader’s engagement. It would have been better if there had been more editing and less anger.

Talking to my country was difficult to assess as a creative work. The discussion motivated by our study of this work was informed. Our group consensus was that, in order to progress on the discussion of Indigenous issues, we need to acknowledge the past and to be more informed about the present.

Our recent Commonwealth Games Opening ceremony with its tribute honouring the Indigenous People was hopefully a catalyst to shift consciousness. The essence of Makaratta: making peace.
The Uluru Statement calls for an indigenous “voice” to be enshrined in The Australian Constitution.

Summary by Denise.

Ratings: Claudia 2, Denise 3.5, Di 3.5, Gail 4, Janet 3, Judith3, Margie 2.5 and Nicola 3.5.

Next month we will meet on the 9th at 6:30PM at Preece House, 50 Nerang St Bischof Pioneer Park, Nerang (next to 54 Nerang St. shops) to continue with this years’ list of Australian books. The book to be discussed will be The Museum Of Modern Love by Heather Rose, winner of the 2017 Stella Prize for women’s writing.

Hope to see you all there and happy reading!

 

About Us

We are a group that gets together once a month to discuss good books. Each of us gets to choose a book on a rotational basis, preferably one outside our personal comfort zone – we try to keep the trash to ourselves. After the discussion, we comment on other books we read that month. Most of the time we remain friends after the meeting.

Preece HouseWe meet at the 1948 heritage Preece House, 50 Nerang St Bischof Pioneer Park, Nerang (next to 54 Nerang St. shops) on the second Monday of every month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. excluding Public Holidays. A small contribution is required towards the rent of the room, but not if you are a first timer. The amount depends on the number of people attending.
One book title is chosen each month and we all read that book. There is a ‘host’ who introduces and co-ordinates the discussion. The role of host is rotated around the group so that each member has the opportunity to nominate their book (it could also be an author, theme or genre). The host also acts as chairperson for that meeting.
Although we are not a social club (we are readers), we occasionally attend literary events, relevant movies or plays here at the Gold Coast, Brisbane or Byron Bay. We conform to basic meeting practices and everyone has an equal opportunity to express their opinion. Everyone’s interpretation is valid, as long as it’s expressed respectfully.
We welcome any new members who share our aims and are happy to contribute to our group. Newcomers are not required to have read the book to attend the first meeting and no contribution is required from them.
Feel free to have a look at our Booklist for 2018 and Newsletters in the sidebar. If you are reading this blog in a mobile device, switch to desktop view.

CONTACT DETAILS

We meet from 6:30 to 8:30 PM on the 2nd Monday of every month at the heritage listed Preece House located at Bischoff Park, Nerang Street (next corner White St), Nerang next door to shops at 54 Nerang Street. Please contact us for info on meetings that fall on Public Holidays.
For more information use the contact form.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Advertisements