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Always Will Be

Stories of Goori sovereignty from the futures of the Tweed

Mykaela Saunders



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Queensland Univ. Press
27 February 2024
From the 2022 David Unaipon winner comes an outstanding and timely collection of speculative fiction imagining futures where Indigenous sovereignty is fully reasserted.

In this stunningly inventive and thought-provoking collection, Mykaela Saunders poses the question- what might country, community and culture look like in the Tweed if Gooris reasserted their sovereignty?

Each of the stories in Always Will Be is set in its own future version of the Tweed. In one, a group of girls plot their escape from a home they have no memory of entering. In another, two men make a final visit to the country they love as they contemplate a new life in a faraway place. Saunders imagines different scenarios for how the local Goori community might reassert sovereignty - reclaiming country, exerting full self-determination, or incorporating non-Indigenous people into the social fabric - while practising creative, ancestrally approved ways of living with changing climates.

Epic in scope, and with a diverse cast of characters, Always Will Be is the ground-breaking winner of the 2022 David Unaipon Award. This is a forward-thinking collection that refuses cynicism and despair, and instead offers entertaining stories that celebrate Goori ways of being, knowing, doing - and becoming.

Imprint:   Queensland Univ. Press
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 227mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   384g
ISBN:   9780702266386
ISBN 10:   0702266388
Pages:   320
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Dr Mykaela Saunders is a Koori/Goori and Lebanese writer, teacher and researcher, and the editor of This All Come Back Now, the Aurealis Award-winning, world-first anthology of blackfella speculative fiction (UQP, 2022). Always Will Be won the 2022 David Unaipon Award. Mykaela's novel manuscript Last Rites of Spring was also shortlisted for the Unaipon Award in 2020, and received a Next Chapter Fellowship in 2021. Mykaela has won the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Indigenous Poetry Prize, the National Indigenous Story Award, the Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Prize for creative non-fiction and the University of Sydney's Sister Alison Bush Graduate Medal for Indigenous research. Of Dharug descent, Mykaela belongs to the Tweed Goori community through her Bundjalung and South Sea Islander family. Mykaela has worked in Aboriginal education since 2003, and at the tertiary level since 2012. They are currently an Indigenous postdoctoral fellow at Macquarie University, researching First Nations speculative fiction.

Reviews for Always Will Be: Stories of Goori sovereignty from the futures of the Tweed

''Always Will Be' is a unique and exciting collection that writes Aboriginal people, dreams, radical hope and love into the future. In these stories, Mykaela Saunders challenges dominant colonial ideologies and honours the wisdom of ancestors as forward thinkers. Astute, warm and affecting, this is a major contribution to First Nations literature.' - Natalie Harkin 'Exceptionally well written ... Brave, radical, highly innovative and entertaining.' - Judges' comments, David Unaipon Award 'Mykaela writes First Nations futures as an extension of the possible, not the impossible, and in doing so contests and challenges the assumptions and expectations of settler binaries and deficit discourse that attempt to constrain and restrain what is possible for First Nations peoples and our futures.' - Jeanine Leane

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