Thursday, March 23, 2006

nowhere people

I was lent a copy of Henry Reynolds' Nowhere People last night and read it on the way home and on the way back to work this morning. Highly recommended. He traces the western attitude to 'half-castes' with an Australian focus of course and addresses the issue which irritated me in the Good Weekend four or five years ago when they did a profile on Reynolds and suggested he had Aboriginal ancestry of his own, as if this was the only feasible explanation for why someone would be so interested in Aboriginal history. In fact it appears there is every chance he does, via his father's mother, though there is really no proof one way or the other. I would say if there is anything about Reynolds' interest in Aboriginal history that comes from his background it's his father's own odd attitude to race. But the personal aspect only bookends an otherwise very interesting and important overview of racial attitudes in Australia.

3 comments:

boy said...
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Tracey said...

personally, as a person of mixed race, I found this book repugnant. Henry Reynolds would have had to have claimed Aboriginal heritage to get it published I would suggest. Reading it was like chewing dry oats with no glass of water at hand.

David said...

How interesting it is to come back to a post years later and find someone has made a comment, I have no idea when. This comment however is not very revelatory. Being 'a person of mixed race' is one thing Tracey but what was the book to you? Boring? Simplistic? Offensive? Reynolds does not claim Aboriginal heritage, so plainly your suggestion is incorrect. Did it cast some light or no light on your own situation 'as a person of mixed race'? Blah.