Book Review: Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray is an exquisite piece of historical fiction from Anita Heiss

When the Murrumbidgee River bursts its banks and sweeps into the fledgling town of Gundgai, it is Wagadhaany’s father, Yarri, and other Wiradjuri men who come to the rescue of the trapped townsfolk.

Now an indentured servant to the Bradleys – a family who, years ago, ignored her father’s pleading not to build on the low lying land – Wagadhaany watches as the white settlers fete and celebrate their heroes, yet offer them little more than medals and a hearty “Well done!”. The town is, rightfully, grateful, but where is the tangible evidence of it? Where are the wages? The blankets? The returned land? The acknowledgement that this might have been prevented if they’d just listened to Yarri in the first place?

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