That Deadman Dance

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ReadHowYouWant.com, 2010 - Aboriginal Australians - 420 pages
3 Reviews
Big-hearted, moving and richly rewarding, That Deadman Dance is set in the first decades of the 19th century in the area around what is now Albany, Western Australia. In playful, musical prose, the 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. He is even welcomed into a prosperous local white family, where he falls for the daughter, Christine, a beautiful young woman who sees no harm in a liaison with a native. But slowly - by design and by accident - things begin to change. Not everyone is happy with how the colony is developing. Stock mysteriously start to disappear; crops are destroyed; there are 'accidents' and injuries on both sides. As the Europeans impose ever stricter rules and regulations in order to keep the peace, Bobby's Elders decide they must respond in kind. A friend to everyone, Bobby is forced to take sides: he must choose between the old world and the new, his ancestors and his new friends. Inexorably, he is drawn into a series of events that will forever change not just the colony but the future of Australia...
 

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User Review  - gypsysmom - LibraryThing

This was an excellent book. I found it as a result of reading a book of short stories by Australian writers. One of the stories that really impressed me was "Asleep" by this author. At the back of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nittnut - LibraryThing

The narrator is a young Noongar boy named Bobby Wabalanginy. He acts as both narrator and the creator of myth. The story moves in a slow and dreamlike fashion, which led me to do a little reading ... Read full review

Contents

Returning on a rope
3
Chaine
9
Cross
26
Things to do
38
A single heart beats
54
Bobby never learned
67
A most intelligent curiosity
89
Convict William Skelly
95
The heart of home
205
A smile for kaya
218
Over the horizon
226
Wriggled his toes again
249
Bobby came home on high
315
Whats not in a whale song
326
Christine and his lay
337
Rowing
343

Soldier Arthur Killam
103
Men at sea
119
The wrong port
126
Tongue and paper
137
Spears and guns
154
One day not yet now
171
A Yankee challenge
188
Jeffrey and James
197
Just for him
349
Sheep sugar and knives
362
Had we but
376
In the gaol dance now
385
About a native gang
398
Authors Note
417
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