Anita M. Heiss
Dhuuluu-Yala is a Wiradjuri phrase meaning ‘to talk straight’ and this book is straight talk about publishing Indigenous literature in Australia. It also includes broader issues that writers need to consider: engaging with readers and reviewers.
The history of defining Aboriginality in Australia and the experience of ‘being Aboriginal’ have both impacted on the production of Aboriginal writing today. These twin themes are the major focus of the book.
The pioneering roles of Aboriginal writers who have gone before and created a space has allowed for the growth of an Indigenous publishing industry. Indeed, a literary and publishing culture have developed also because of the increasing desire and need for an authentic Indigenous voice in Australian literature. Although funding and other mechanisms are in place and possibilities afforded Indigenous writers have improved, opportunities are still limited, leading to some authors choosing to self-publish.
The book covers the period up to the mid-1900s, though some references are included up to 2000. Despite the changes have been made since that date, however the issues identified in Dhuuluu-Yala remain current and to a large extent unresolved.
Reviews and endorsements
Dhuuluu-Yala answers those questions about Aboriginal writing and publishing that we were afraid to ask, and those we didn’t even know we should.
— Janice Fewin, Australian Publishers Association
An informative and intelligent look at Aboriginal literature. Its strength lies in its fascinating and thought provoking discussion of identity, Aboriginality and power. Reading it will challenge and transform how you perceive yourself and those around you.
— Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, author and publisher, Canada