Talking to My Country
An extraordinarily powerful and personal meditation on race, culture, and identity.
When Stan Grant was born in Australia in 1963, the national census classed him and his family among the country's flora and fauna. As Aboriginal Australians, their history and culture had been suppressed for centuries. A legacy of racism stood between him and the opportunities that white Australia - the so-called Lucky County - seemed awash with.
But Grant was lucky enough to find an escape route through education. Finding early inspiration in the writing of James Baldwin and fellow indigenous activists at the Australian National University, on completing his studies he went on to become one of the country's leading journalists.
As a correspondent for CNN he travelled extensively, covering conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Struck by how common humanity can live on in the face of repression and mass destruction - from North Korea to Pakistan to Baghdad - the lives of individuals he met spoke to him of sacrifice, endurance, and the undying call of family and homeland. And in the stories of other dispossessed peoples, he saw that of his own.
In Talking To My Country, Grant draws on his own life and community to respond to the ongoing racism that he sees around him. He writes with passion and striking candour of the sorrow, shame, anger, and hardship of being an indigenous man. Forthright and unblinking, Stan reaches beyond his own heritage to show how the effects of colonialism and racism are everyday realities that still shape our world, and how we should never grow complacent in the fight to overcome them.