My name’s Louise - I’m a bookseller who lives in Mparntwe / Alice Springs, on Arrernte Country in Australia’s central desert. The nearest landmark that you might know is Uluru, the big rock - even though that’s 500km away!
I work for Red Kangaroo Books - we’re the only bricks and mortar independent bookshop for thousands of kilometres. We’re also known for stocking a fantastic range of indigenous writers.
I’ve been spending some time with Lighthouse Books this week as part of Rise Booksellers Exchange Program, which invites booksellers to connect with other shops across the globe, to exchange ideas and discover different practices! I’ve come to Edinburgh to meet the team behind your favourite queer, radical bookshop, and learn about event programming and community outreach. An exchange goes two ways!
What I’d like to share from back home is the incredible literary tradition, as well as knowledge and wisdom, of First Nations peoples on my continent. As a white woman of European heritage living on stolen land, it’s essential for me to learn about the Indigenous cultures that have been taking care of Country for over 60,000 years. So I’d love to share with you some of the books I love. These authors detail the Indigenous struggle against the ongoing project of settler-colonialism, but also provide fantastic storytelling and top-notch analysis.
1. The White Possessive - Aileen Moreton-Robinson
2. Dark Emu - Bruce Pascoe
3. Talking to My Country - Stan Grant
4. Sand Talk - Tyson Yunkaporta
5. Too Much Lip - Melissa Lucashenko
6. Decolonising Methodologies - Linda Tuhiwai Smith (the author is a Maori woman who lives in New Zealand but this book is too good not to mention!)
Below are I've also included some brilliant Australian fiction!
Sadly too many brilliant Indigenous and Australian writers aren't in print in the UK, so here are a few indigenous-led publishers to keep an eye out for:
- Running Water Community Press in Mparntwe / Alice Springs, NT
- Magabala Books in Broome, WA
- Bundyi, a Simon & Schuster Imprint
Louise Omer is a visiting bookseller and the author of Holy Woman.