Dark Emu – Book Review
Author: Bruce Pascoe
Genre: Non-fiction, history, Australian, Indigenous, anthropology, environment, race
My rating: ★★★★★
Release Date: Published 1st February, 2017 by ABC Audio
What did I think?
Dark Emu is a fabulous book. I wish I had borrowed the hard copy rather than audio because, though the audio was great and was easy-listen, this is an important book. I’m remedying that by putting it on my list of books to buy and even consider as gifts.
(Incidentally, after buying too many books in the past, last year I decided to read library copies and then, if I LOVE them, to buy. I figure that’s how not to end up with too many that you don’t like, or are that are so-so. Anyhoo, barring a couple of books that were great which I already had (ARCs), this is the first book to go on my buy list for 2020. It hasn’t been that great a year for reading. It’s been okay.)
Pascoe argues convincingly for a different style of Indigenous life in Australia before English arrival. He puts forward his case for how the land was, about agriculture, baking (yes – baking), burning off methods, fishing methods, constructed houses and storage of foodstuffs.
The history I grew up with was coloured by colonialism, of course, and I found it fascinating to hear this different, educated, take on it. I feel like this book – the message – is enormous, to be honest. I hope this kicks off a lot more research (Indigenous-led) into the history and culture of Australia before English arrival.
Dark Emu deserves a lot more thought in reviewing, but I am supposed to be studying right now. So I will say if you’re Australian, and you read non-fiction, I thoroughly recommend this book. But if you’re not an Aussie, it’s still fascinating.