Swallow the Air follows the life of 15-year-old May Gibson, an Aboriginal girl from New South Wales whose mother commits suicide. May and her brother go to live with their aunt, but eventually May travels further afield, first to Redfern's Block in Sydney, then to the Northern Territory, and finally into central New South Wales. She travels to escape, but also in pursuit of a sense of her own history, family, and identity.
Kiss of the Fur Queen
Once Were Warriors
The Whale Rider
Particular attention is paid in this unit to works by Native North American, New Zealand Maori and Aboriginal Australian peoples. Students examine cultural, spiritual and socio-political issues arising from the creation and production of indigenous literatures, as well as anglo-european socially and historically conditioned readings of them. The unit focuses on the dynamic use of language in indigenous oral and written literatures and the development of forms of language better suited to their purposes than those traditionally promulgated by mainstream Western society. Students examine some of the various sorts of aboriginal English in relation to the process of (self)representation and genre adaptation. The often problematic relationship between Literary Theory and indigenous literature is also considered.