#aww2017 #BeatTheBacklist Book Review: “Walpiri Women’s Voices: Our Lives, Our History” edited by Petronella Vaarzon-Morel

Title: Walpiri Women’s Voicess: Our LIves, Our History
Author: compiled by Janet Nakamarra Long and Georgina Napangardi and edited by Petronella Vaarzon-Morel
Genre: Non-fiction/oral history
Date Read: 31/03/2017 – 07/04/2017
Rating: unrated


I’ve never left a book unrated when I’ve reviewed it before, but it was really hard to know what to rate this one. That mostly comes from the fact that this is not a book as such, but transcripts of oral history interviews done with women members of the Walpiri people from the Northern Territory.

The interviews cover the community’s relationship to the land in the time before white people settled the area, through to white settlement and a little of the present day (the book was published in 1995).

While I appreciated the content, it was slow-going. I think this was due to the format; the recordings were done in Walpiri language, and what I was reading was essentially a direct translation with no embellishment. As someone who much prefers fiction to non-fiction in general, I did find this difficult to get through, but I think that is more a matter of personal preference. Still, this is an important record and I’m glad that this information was recorded while it was still possible.

(This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2017. Click here for more information).

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