That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott
In playful, musical prose, this book explores the early contact between the Aboriginal Noongar people and the first European settlers.
The novel’s hero is a young Noongar man named Bobby Wabalanginy. Clever, resourceful and eager to please, Bobby befriends the new arrivals, joining them hunting whales, tilling the land, exploring the hinterland and establishing the fledgling colony. But slowly – by design and by accident – things begin to change. Not everyone is happy with how the colony is developing.
As the Europeans impose ever stricter rules and regulations in order to keep the peace, Bobby’s Elders decide they must respond in kind. Supple and accessible in style, generous in spirit and outlook, That Deadman Dance is a fascinating, powerful portrait of Australia’s earliest days.