Exploding hunter-gatherer myth will go to movies
At the heart of Bruce Pascoe's Dark Emu is a bold assertion which explodes a foundational myth of white Australia: that Aboriginal people were nomadic hunter-gatherers.
Dark Emu was recently named Book of the Year and joint winner of the biennial Indigenous Writing Prize at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards.
Bruce Pascoe convincingly argues the hunter-gatherer myth was a convenient lie that enabled dispossession - at least in the colonial mind.
His evidence though is drawn from records that even the most conservative historian wouldn't argue with: the journals and diaries of explorers such as Sir Thomas Mitchell and Charles Sturt.
Some publishers found the premise of the book - that Aboriginal people had an agricultural economy - too challenging and some even questioned whether the terms Aboriginal and agriculture could be used in the same sentence.
Now in it's sixth print run, Dark Emu has been such a popular success that it may even be adapted for the screen.
Bruce tells the AWAYE program on ABC RN that he is currently working on the screen writing of a film relating to Dark Emu/