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Cover of new Heiss novel to feature title in Wiradjuri

Simon & Schuster (S&S) has revealed the cover for Anita Heiss’s forthcoming novel Bila Yarrudhang-galang-dhuray (River of Dreams, May 2021). According to Heiss, it is the first Australian commercial fiction release to feature the title on the cover solely in an Aboriginal language without the English translation.

Set on Wiradjuri country in 1852 and based on true events, Heiss’s new book features Wiradjuri language and is ‘a story of love, loss and belonging’. The cover, which was created in collaboration with Heiss, features original artwork by Wiradjuri artist Luke Penrith.

Heiss says: ‘Using Wiradjuri language on the cover of my novel makes a strong statement … regarding the reclamation and maintenance of the traditional language of my family. It is language of the Wiradjuri characters in the novel—the language of Yarri and Yiramiilan and their daughter Wagadhaany and her husband Yindyamarra, and their extended families.

‘I did not just write a story, I wrote something that is part of the history of the First Peoples of central NSW. And that matters to me, and it matters to those the story and characters represent, like Luke … It is important to me that I get it right.’

S&S commercial fiction publisher Cassandra di Bellow said: ‘We are so proud to be publishing Anita’s upcoming novel with a cover that pays homage to the wonderful themes of the book. From celebrating the Wiradjuri language to showcasing the gorgeous Murrumbidgee River where the novel is set, we hope the treatment of this cover is another step forward in changing the landscape of how First Nation stories are published.’


Category: Local news