Peter Botsman and Valentine Press value readers’ comments. Please tell us what you think about Wakuwal, on the form below.
Here are some pre-publication comments from readers of advance copies of Wakuwal.
“This is a book unlike any I have read – an audacious dreamweaving of Indigenous and settler identity, a narrative that fuses Yolŋu and Irish story-telling. Five spirit beings reflect different streams in Peter Botsman’s journey, a language both personal and deeply linked to traditions he values. There is a sadness too, a sense of landscapes and peoples lost to unthinking development, tenuous links through tenacious individuals who keep identity and place alive.”
Professor Glyn Davis, Melbourne University, Vice-Chancellor & Professor of Political Science
“Peter Botsman is an intrepid explorer of the Australian cultural landscape. In Wakuwal, he beautifully depicts a dream journey to his ancestors, adopting an Aboriginal approach to understanding the world. As a valued ambassador and friend to the Yolngu people of north-east Australia, Botsman ably bridges the divide between white and Aboriginal civilization. His book should become a classic not unlike Carlos Castaneda’s Yaqui Way of Knowledge. It deserves wide readership in Australia and abroad.”
Ambassador Derek Shearer, Chevalier Professor of Diplomacy,Director, McKinnon Center for Global Affairs,Occidental College, Los Angeles
“Wakuwal is a mighty collaborative effort of fantastical imagination and spirituality and shows the way that modern Australia can, through understanding and respect, at last establish a relationship with Australia’s First Peoples that will benefit the whole Nation. The perspective of the Celtic faeries converts the wall between the Spirit world and our past, present and future to a thin veil that reveals the true evil of our times: the failure ‘to grant haven to those in need’.”
Bill Moyle, A.M. Former head of the State Bank of Victoria
“Dhuwala djorra’ guŋga’yunamirri balandawu ga yolnguwa. This book will help you all balanda and yolŋu.”
Batumbil Burarrwanga, Mata Mata, Arnhem Land
“Peter Botsman has used his imagination to draw together two worlds and through that prism shows that the paradigm of relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people must change.”
Kevin Fong, Director, Kimberley Institute
“This book is testament to the time, commitment and utmost respect that Peter has for Indigenous people. Allowing Peter to walk along side and experience a never ending journey that few are so privileged to be afforded, members of the Yolŋu community have made it possible for him to share this story with us.”
Daniel Briggs, Llb.
“Peter Botsman journey with Indigenous and Non –indigenous Australians is a must read. Peter has been involved with me over the journey with Aboriginal involvement with mining in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Similar to his book he has placed Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal peoples involvement with mining in the Pilbara into some sort of historical context highlighting the tensions that can and do exacerbate issues such as mental health problems in Aboriginal people and their communities. Peter’s big picture demands that we all work together to fix these things his book is part of this process. Peter has played a part in genuinely improving the lives of the Aboriginal people, and as he says, when optimism endures in the face of ignorance and destruction, there is still hope. Peter’s passion and work with the Yolngu people over the journey is similar to his work in the Pilbara honouring traditional law and enhancing Aboriginal people’s health and wellbeing. Peter has also produced a number of books or major reports for many years now. A number of these works have had some influence on Australian governments I certainly learnt a great deal from Peter, working with Non Aboriginal culture to ensure greater meaning and greater understanding and healthier outcomes on both sides of the fence.”
Barry Taylor, Njamal loreman
“Peter Botsman has long been one of this country’s best and most adventurous social thinkers. This might be his biggest – and best – adventure yet.”
“Start with the ancestors and old people, the river red gums. To grow your understanding of the people and their trauma, you need to come and feel their presence among the beautiful waters of the Dungala and its wetlands.
This book awakens our understanding of the magnitude of our actions in our invasion and colonization of their countries including our loss as a nation . This book challenges our capacity to acknowledge our behaviors and to return to the people the prosperity and quality of life that as First Nations peoples they have a right to.”
Paul Briggs, OAM
Do not come to this book with preconceptions based on Botsman’s previous work, his fierce analytics and academic credentials – you will be left confused or disappointed. Do not come to this book unless from a place of deep hearing, deep seeing, and deep understanding. For most of us that is neither a familiar place nor a comfortable one. And with thoroughly non-linear, and thoroughly appropriate, logic: reading this book will take you there.
We have also entered these into the permanent reader comments for Wakuwal, via the form.