A Beginning. "Telling Stories: Indigenous History and Memory in Australia and New Zealand", by Bain Attwood and Fiona Magowan (eds.). [review]
This book capitalises on the recent interest in indigenous history and storytelling. Bain Attwood and Fiona Magowan have compiled a satisfying, well-rounded and important collection. The Introduction outlines their aims while contextualising the project. "Telling Stories" grew out of an awareness that the relationship between the past and the present has become increasingly contentious, and that control of historical knowledge production has emerged as a central concern for indigenous and settler historians (and storytellers) alike. Although the editors note, somewhat cautiously, that there is ‘nothing new about indigenous story-telling or history-making’, the ensuing ten chapters reject this claim. Attwood’s chapter on the ‘stolen generations narratives’, for example, clearly demonstrates that there is much that is new. Overall, the collection, despite some unevenness in scholarship, shows that much is still to be learned.