Can You Anchor a Shimmering Nation State via Regional Indigenous Roots? Kim Scott talks to Anne Brewster about That Deadman Dance

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Anne Brewster


This interview focuses mainly on Kim Scott’s new novel That Deadman Dance which won the regional Commonwealth Writers Prize (Southeast Asian and Pacific region) and the Miles Franklin Award. The topics of conversation include Scott’s involvement in the Noongar language project (and the relationship of this project to the novel), the novel itself, the challenges of writing in English, the resistance paradigm and indigenous sovereignty and nationalism.

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Author Biography

Anne Brewster, University of NSW school of English

Anne Brewster is an associate professor at the University of New South Wales. Her books include Literary Formations: Postcoloniality, Nationalism, Globalism (1996) and Aboriginal Women's Autobiography (1995). She co-edited, with Angeline O’Neill and Rosemary van den Berg, an anthology of Australian Indigenous Writing, Those Who Remain Will Always Remember (2000).


Kim Scott’s first novel, True Country, was published in 1993. His second novel, Benang, won the Miles Franklin Award, the WA Premier’s Award and the RAKA Kate Challis Award. That Deadman Dance (2010), his third novel, won a regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize (south-east Asia and the Pacific), the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the ALS Gold Medal and the Western Australian Premier's Book Awards. His third book, Kayang and Me (2005), is a family history, written in collaboration with Noongar elder, Hazel Brown, his aunt. He has also written a children’s book, The Dredgersaurus (2001).