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On a Barbarous Coast

What if there was an alternative ending to Captain Cook's story?

Craig Cormick Harold Ludwick



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Allen & Unwin
02 June 2020
We were becoming the wild things we most feared, but could not see it at the time.

On a night of raging winds and rain, Captain Cook's Endeavour lies splintered on a coral reef off the coast of far north Australia. A small disparate band of survivors, fracturing already, huddle on the shore of this strange land - their pitiful salvage scant protection from the dangers of the unknown creatures and natives that live here.

Watching these mysterious white beings, the Guugu Yimidhirr people cannot decide if they are ancestor spirits to be welcomed - or hostile spirits to be speared. One headstrong young boy, Garrgiil, determines to do more than watch and to be the one to find out what exactly they are.

Fierce, intriguing and thoughtful, On a Barbarous Coast is the story of a past and future that might have been.

'Australia's origin story brilliantly re-imagined, in which Indigenous Australians rightfully assume their central place.' Susan Johnson, author of The Broken Book
By:   Craig Cormick, Harold Ludwick
Imprint:   Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   423g
ISBN:   9781760877347
ISBN 10:   1760877344
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   02 June 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

HAROLD LUDWICK comes from the Cooktown/Guugu Yimidhirr area and works as a guide and cultural historian, and is the recipient of a prestigious Encounters Fellowship with the National Museum of Australia. CRAIG CORMICK is an award-winning author and science communicator. Cormick was a former Chair of the ACT Writers Centre and has taught creative writing at both university and community level.

Reviews for On a Barbarous Coast: What if there was an alternative ending to Captain Cook's story?

A saga that impresses upon you the lasting impact of the brutal colonisation of this land's First Peoples. --Sydney Morning Herald

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