In the near future Australia is about to experience colonisation once more. What have we learned from our past? A daring debut novel from the winner of the 2016 black&write! writing fellowship.
'Jacky was running. There was no thought in his head, only an intense drive to run. There was no sense he was getting anywhere, no plan, no destination, no future. All he had was a sense of what was behind, what he was running from. Jacky was running.'
The Natives of the Colony are restless. The Settlers are eager to have a nation of peace, and to bring the savages into line. Families are torn apart, reeducation is enforced. This rich land will provide for all.
This is not Australia as we know it. This is not the Australia of our history. This Terra Nullius is something new, but all too familiar.
This is an incredible debut from a striking new Australian Aboriginal voice.
About the Author
Claire G Coleman is a writer from Western Australia. She identifies with the South Coast Noongar people. Her family are associated with the area around Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun. Claire grew up in a Forestry's settlement in the middle of a tree plantation, where her dad worked, not far out of Perth.
She wrote her black&write! fellowship-winning manuscript Terra Nullius while travelling around Australia in a caravan.
Terra Nullius is witty, weird, moving and original. - Weekend Australian
Set in an Australia that is simultaneously recognisable and bleakly foreign, Coleman's work of speculative fiction tells a story of colonisation and displacement that is both devastating and all too familiar. In our politically tumultuous time, the novel's themes of racism, inherent humanity and freedom are particularly poignant. - Books + Publishing
Noongar writer Claire Coleman's debut novel, Terra Nullius
, envisions a continent disturbingly familiar and worryingly futuristic. Disturbing because it opens with a scenario of settler dispossession; worrying because Coleman's stories serve as a critique of recent history and prophesy a "second wave invasion and a post-colonial future". - Sydney Morning Herald
Coleman makes a significant contribution to the emerging body of Aboriginal writers such as Ellen van Neerven and Alexis Wright who write spectral and speculative fiction to critique the vicious fiction of the colonial archive. - Canberra Times
Coleman, a south coast Noongar woman from Western Australia, goes to the heart of Australia's challenge as a nation - how to universalise the experience of Indigenous people, so that it is something all Australians can understand. This is the essence of good fiction: it takes us away from our present reality and into another. - Zoe Pollo