Salt- Selected Stories and Essays
Bruce Pascoe 2019
Challenging. This book challenged my understanding of the history of Australia. It challenged my vocabulary knowledge and comprehension. It challenged me because I couldn’t always relate to the situations that characters were in. It was a book I could put down, and I often did. I kept coming back to it, however, because I knew that these challenges were an essential way for me to crawl my way out of ignorance. Pascoe has a way with words that is poetic, at times gritty and highly intelligent. Throughout this book, as well as Dark Emu and Young Dark Emu, Pascoe brings to light, cultural identity that exists within many Indigenous Australian communities.
Salt is a collection of short stories and essays. The essays reflect on a version of Australian history that has been taught for centuries in contrast to the truth of Australian history that should be taught. He explores people’s general perceptions about the origins of farming, bread making and science concepts while exposing the ignorance of many through his research from the written transcripts of the European explorers. At times, his essays are angry and sometimes sarcastic, however, always informed and informative.
Pascoe’s stories can be abrasive. They talk of relationships and give voice to interesting and diverse characters. At times, his stories are so personal, one might feel embarrassed to be reading, as is the case in Dawn. Romantic stories such as Pittosporum invite the senses as readers feel the texture of words on their tongues, visualise smells and experience colours.
A book worth persisting with.
What's this about?
As a lover of books and a teacher, I read widely. Here you will find book reviews of many genres including picture story, middle grade fiction, graphic novels, women's fiction, short story anthologies, non-fiction and anything else that takes my fancy.