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The Mind of a Thief  - Patti Miller


Published: 26th April 2012
In Stock. Ships from Australia today or next business day
RRP $29.95

A superior memoir by an accomplished writer at the height of her powers

For 40,000 years the Central NSW area of Wellington was Aboriginal - Wiradjuri - land. Following the arrival of white men, it became a penal settlement, mission station, gold-mining town and farming centre with a history of white comfort and black marginalisation. In the late 20th century, it was also the subject of the first post-Mabo Native Title claim, bringing new hope - and new controversy - to the area and its people.

Wiradjuri land is also where author Patti Miller was born and, mid-life, it begins to exert a compelling emotional pull, demanding her return. Post-children, having lived a dream life in Paris, it is hard for her to understand, or ignore, and so she is drawn into the story at the heart of Australian identity - who are we in relation to our beloved but stolen country?

Wellington and the Wiradjuri people are the main characters - and in revealing their complex narratives, Patti uncovers her own. Are her connections to this place through her convict forefathers, or through another, secret history? She sets out on a journey of exploration and takes us with her. Black and white politics, the processes of colonisation, family mythologies, generational conflict and the power of place are evoked as Patti weaves a story that is very personal and, at the same time, a universal story of country and belonging.

The Mind of a Thief is about identity, history, place and belonging and, perhaps most of all, about how we create ourselves through our stories.

About the Author

Patti Miller was raised on a farm in central western NSW and has worked teaching writing for over twenty years. Her many books include Writing Your Life (Allen & Unwin, 1994, 2001), The Last One Who Remembers (Allen & Unwin, 1997), Child (Allen & Unwin, 1998), Whatever the Gods Do (Random House, 2003) and The Memoir Book (Allen & Unwin, 2007). In 2012 she will teach at the innovative Faber Academy in Sydney.


The Mind of a Thief


The content of the book is fantastic in use of education, essays and exams. As it is a depressing book with no happiness I would recommend it to those interested in that content as well as a curriculum to students.



The Mind of a Thief

3.0 1


"Native title is a complex and vexing issue. This thoughtful, well-researched, and beautifully written personal story helps us to understand why it is so important to indigenous people." --"Herald Sun" "Deals with the big issues. Given patience, the book unfolds into one of the best descriptions I've seen of the native title mediation process. This is complex stuff, but Miller sets it all out calmly and clearly, using the craft of storytelling." --"Weekend Australian" "A seamless narrative. [Miller's] powers of observation give her stories a colourful cohesion. She has produced a remarkably fluid, virtuoso piece of writing." --"Saturday Age"

Blackfellasp. 1
Wiradjuri Landp. 7
Identity Terrorp. 13
Dreamingp. 22
Heading Home - and Leavingp. 32
Keeping Out of Troublep. 40
Memory and Placep. 47
The Common and Nanima Reservep. 54
In Search of an Inland Seap. 59
Who Will Talk to Me?p. 69
The Mind of a Thiefp. 72
The Missionaries' Diariesp. 87
More Inclined to Read than Workp. 104
Living at Nanima Reservep. 110
Thieving Ancestorsp. 122
Whose Native Title?p. 129
A Wild Irishmanp. 139
Goldp. 146
Native Title Fightp. 151
Native Title Historiesp. 158
Patrick Reidy and the Wiradjurip. 164
The Town Historianp. 172
Elders Usurpedp. 183
The Niece of Jimmy Governorp. 187
Trying to Talk to Rosep. 206
Searching for the Borap. 210
Not Taking Nonsensep. 216
A Wiradjuri Manp. 227
Identityp. 234
Who Belongs?p. 241
Australia Dayp. 245
Sacred Sitesp. 256
What Happens in Wellingtonp. 264
Country Rosep. 270
Native Titlep. 287
Epiloguep. 291
Acknowledgementsp. 292
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780702249365
ISBN-10: 070224936X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 26th April 2012
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 22.7 x 15.3  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.41
Edition Number: 1