Told through the fictional characterisation of Darug woman Muraging (Mary James), Benevolence is a compelling story of first contact. Born around 1813, Muraging is among the earliest Darug generations to experience the impact of British colonisation – a time of cataclysmic change and violence, but also remarkable survival and resistance.
This book presents an important era in Australia’s history from an Aboriginal perspective in novel form, spanning the years 1816-35 and is set around the the home of the Darug people. The author interweaves historical events and characters — she shatters stereotypes and puts a human face to this Aboriginal perspective.
Janson's writing is evocative...The shame of colonisation is amplified by the proud complexities of the narrative...Muraging's – and Janson's – refusal to perform the victim to voyeurs of trauma is an act of defiance.
The gut-truths presented in ‘Benevolence’ are tied to a larger reckoning needed in Australian society – one that involves a centring of First Nation voices, a willingness to address not just a violent history, but a hostile and violent present.
Benevolence' is a searing, unforgettable work...this novel is of immense importance.
- RRP (AUD)
- Adult Fiction
Julie Janson’s career as a playwright began when she wrote and directed plays in remote Australian Northern Territory Aboriginal communities. She is now a novelist and award-winning poet. Julie is a Burruberongal woman of Darug Aboriginal Nation. She is co-recipient of the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Poetry Prize, 2016 and winner of the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, 2019.
Magabala Books is Australia’s leading Indigenous publishing house. Aboriginal owned and led, we celebrate and nurture the talent and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices.