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Through a series of compact lyrics, Ali Cobby Eckermann’s Ruby Moonlight tells the story of a young Aboriginal woman in the late nineteenth century who survives the massacre of her entire family. Wandering alone through Ngadjuri land, in South Australia, she encounters a luckless Irish trapper whose loneliness matches her own. Drawn together for comfort, they discover a momentary paradise along riverbanks and across arid plains that proves fragile in the face of frontier violence and colonization.
“These innovative poems take up traditional narrative voices, bringing past conflicts vividly to life with short lines that are lucid, refined, and luminous. Colonialism and survival are set against the natural world, love, and the desire for human engagement. The writing is delicate yet strong, the tone is pitched so well the reader is not distracted by the agile technique that carries the narrative forward.”
—Judges’ citation, New South Wales Book of the Year Award