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Anita Heiss announces new novel with Wiradjuri title

12/01/2020 2:58 PM
Anita Heiss announces new novel with Wiradjuri title

Simon & Schuster has revealed the cover and title of the upcoming novel of Wiradjuri author Dr Anita Heiss, Bila Yarrudhang-galang-dhuray (River of Dreams). Heiss says it is the first Australian commercial fiction novel to feature a title in an Aboriginal language with no translation on the cover. 

Bila Yarrudhang-galang-dhuray is set on Wiradjuri country in Central New South Wales. Taking place in 1852 and drawing upon real events, the novel feautre sthe Wiradjuri language to tell a story of 'love, loss and belonging.' 

The cover was co-created by Heiss and features original art by Wiradjuro artiast Luke Penrith. Heiss says of the novel and its cover: 

'Using Wiradjuri language on the cover of my novel makes a strong statement … regarding the reclamation and maintenance of the traditional language of my family. It is language of the Wiradjuri characters in the novel—the language of Yarri and Yiramiilan and their daughter Wagadhaany and her husband Yindyamarra, and their extended families.

I did not just write a story, I wrote something that is part of the history of the First Peoples of central NSW. And that matters to me, and it matters to those the story and characters represent, like Luke … It is important to me that I get it right.’

Bila Yarrudhang-galang-dhuray is due for publication in May 2021. You can find more details on Simon & Schuster's website here