“Talking Sideways” – by Reg Dodd & Malcolm McKinnon

Tigers’ fan and occasional football blogger, Malcolm McKinnon,  (Tiger Tiger Burning Bright, and also the 2017 Tigers Almanac) has a new book called Talking Sideways, co-written with Reg Dodd, a senior Arabunna man from desert country around Lake Eyre in South Australia’s arid far north.


The book centres around Finniss Springs, a place of potent ghosts. For the Arabunna and for many other Aboriginal people, Finniss Springs has been a homeland and a refuge. It has also been, at different times and in various ways, a cattle station, an Aboriginal mission, a battlefield, a place of learning and a living museum.


The story of Finniss Springs contradicts some popular notions of Aboriginal life on the pastoral frontier. Unlike many Aboriginal missions, this is a place fondly remembered by most who grew up there. Part history, part memoir, part ethnography, this is the story of Francis Warren (Reg Dodd’s grandfather), an enlightened European patriarch and his Aboriginal family. It’s also a story about the fierce cauldron of Aboriginal family politics, revealing tensions and conflicts around power, authority and cultural knowledge.


Finally, the story of Finniss Springs is a classic case study in how powerful mining companies divide and conquer Aboriginal groups who obstruct their access to resources.


Reg Dodd and Malcolm McKinnon have been friends and collaborators for thirty years. Their work as tandem authors is based around a style of cross-cultural conversation that develops only over time.


A lively and accessible read, this book will appeal to anyone with an interest in Aboriginal history and current affairs.


Check out blurb from the publisher: https://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/book.aspx/1492/Talking%20Sideways-%20Stories%20and%20Conversations%20from%20Finniss%20Springs


For further details about the book contact:  

[email protected] 



Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications

The Tigers Almanac 2019 is out soon.
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