Further critical reading

Below is a selection of useful critical commentary for the study of Australian Aboriginal literature. Further critical discussion of Aboriginal literature has been published in many Australian and international journals.

Essay excerpts:

Click on each title or book thumbnail to download a PDF of the essay excerpt.


Just Words? Anita Heiss, ‘Aboriginal Children’s Literature: More than just pretty pictures’ in Just Words? Australian authors writing for justice, edited by Bernadette Brennan, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 2008, p. 102-103.

Reproduced by permission of the author.

Making Waves Anita Heiss, ‘Aboriginal Writers on the Significance of Space, Sense of Place and Connection to Country’ in Making Waves: 10 years of the Byron Bay Writers Festival, edited by Marele Day, Susan Bradley Smith and Fay Knight, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 2006, p. 67-68.

Reproduced by permission of the author.

Making Books Anita Heiss, ‘Indigenous Book Publishing’ in Making Books: Contemporary Australian Publishing, edited by David Carter and Anne Galligan, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 2007, p. 255-259 (+ endnotes).

Reproduced by permission of the author.

Dhuuluu Anita Heiss, ‘Aboriginality and Writing’ and ‘Post-Colonial – NOT!’ in Dhuuluu Yala (to talk straight): Publishing Indigenous Literature, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 2003, p. 41-46.

Reproduced by permission of Aboriginal Studies Press.


Southerly Sonja Kurtzer, Wandering Girl: who defines “authenticity” in Aboriginal literature?’ in Michele Grossman, ed., Blacklines: Contemporary Critical Writing by Indigenous Australians, Melbourne University Press, 2003, pp.181-188.

Reproduced by permission of the author.


Southerly Jennifer Martiniello, ‘Void, Voices and Stories Without End’ in Southerly – Stories Without End, Vol. 62. No. 2, 2002, p. 91-93.

Reproduced by permission of the author.

Just Words Anita Heiss, ‘Black Poetics’ in Meanjin - Blak Times, Vol. 65, No. 1, 2006, edited by Peter Minter, p. 180-183.

Reproduced by permission of author and editor.

Just Words Penny van Toorn, ‘Wild Speech, Tame Speech, Real Speech? Written renditions of Aboriginal Australian Speech, 1788-1850’ in Southerly – Elizabeth Webby, Vol. 67, Nos.1-2, 2007, p. 174-178.

Reproduced by permission of the author.