‘I had to be manic’: Tara June Winch on her unmissable new novel – and surviving Andrew Bolt


This post is by Sian Cain from Books | The Guardian


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The fourth title in Guardian Australia’s Unmissables series is The Yield, the Wiradjuri author’s long-awaited second novel – the writing of which almost destroyed her

In 2009 the Australian conservative commentator Andrew Bolt wrote an article for the Herald Sun under the headline: “It’s so hip to be black.”

In it he named several prominent Indigenous figures who he felt had used their heritage to qualify for roles he believed they did not deserve because of their fair skin. One of them was Tara June Winch, who was then – in the words of Bolt – “just 26 and has written only one book, Swallow the Air”. He complained that she had been named an ambassador for the Australia Council’s Indigenous literacy project – which didn’t exist. “Yes, indeed,” Bolt wrote, “because despite her auburn hair and charmingly freckled face, she, too, is an Aborigine, who claims her ‘country ...