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Feb 27, 2010
Described as a subversive race through mission days, Marie Munkara's Every Secret Thing has just won the Northern Territory Book of the Year. Earlier in manuscript form it won the prestigious David Unaipon Award.
.Pictured at right is Marie Munkara after receiving the award.
Panel member and Professor of Writing, Gail Jones said of Every Secret Thing:
‘Like Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria, this is a landmark text in indigenous writing. It is a work of immense spirit, ingenuity and narrative confidence.’
‘Set on a mission in the Northern Territory, Every Secret Thing examines with wise and witty irreverence the collision of Catholic and indigenous cultures, figured here as a drama of comic misunderstandings between the Mission Mob and the Bush Mob.
‘There is a beautiful humanity to both the characters and the tale and all is encompassed in brilliant humour, canny observations and a splendidly clever social vision.
‘Particularly impressive is the way in which the political intelligence of the novel – regarding important matters like cultural depredation, stolen generations and sexual abuse – are told not in the mode of elegy but through an understanding of spiritual and cultural resistance. It is a robust and audacious critique of white incursion, but also a celebration of the solidarity, joy, community and vigour that persists with spiritual integrity in Aboriginal communities.’
From UQP:
When culture and faith collide...nothing is sacred
In the Aboriginal missions of far northern Australia, it was a battle between saving souls and saving traditional culture.
Every Secret Thing is a rough, tough, hilarious portrayal of the Bush Mob and the Mission Mob, and the hapless clergy trying to convert them. In these tales, everyone is fair game. At once playful and sharp, Marie Munkara's wonderfully original stories cast a taunting new light on the mission era in Australia.
'told with biting wit and riotous humour'
- Judges' comments, Queensland Premier's Literary Awards (2008)
Mission days: Marie Munkara and Roy Kennedy on
AWAYE! ABC Radio listen here
Marie Munkara wins 2010 Northern Territory Book of the Year!
by Bob Gosford in The Northern Myth (CrikeyBlogs): click here 
INTERVIEW: Late last year Bob Gosford published a two part interview with Marie – you can read them for your self here and here.
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Posted: Feb 27, 2010 7:29pm


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Jenny Dooley
, 3, 2 children
Sydney, Australia
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