Paperback | Feb 2024 | Giramondo Publishing | 9781922725899 | 288pp | 210x148mm | GEN | AUD$32.95, NZD$37.99
An important literary memoir which views white settler family history against the impacts on the Indigenous people with whom they interact.
Monument is poet and critic Bonny Cassidy’s fourth book. Moving seamlessly through genres in its recovery of the past — part poetry, part prose, microhistory, memoir, travel writing, and sometimes counterfactual speculation — it traces the complex consequences of colonial settlement across the generations of a White Australian family of mixed origins and ancestries.
Following the threads and detours signalled by research, objects and testimony, Cassidy makes a case for the value of ‘collected memory’ against the tide of settlement and silence. Inspired by the methods of Natalie Harkin’s archival poetics and Katrina Schlunke’s Bluff Rock: Autobiography of a Massacre, Cassidy’s
Monument considers how non-Indigenous Australians might absorb First Nations truth-telling; and what this means for acts of speech, and writing. Should our memories serve the living or the dead, the past or the present? Why do we need new monuments in Australia, and where should we expect to find them?