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‘A moving story of going far away to find home again
– a beautiful, hopeful book.’

—Kate Grenville

‘Larissa Behrendt weaves an exquisite tapestry that speaks to our common humanity and lives within the stories we collect, treasure and share.’
—Rachel Griffiths

Introducing an ambitious and engrossing new novel from multi-talented author Larissa Behrendt that celebrates the extraordinary power of words and the quiet spaces between.

 

About the book

When Indigenous lawyer Jasmine decides to take her mother Della on a tour of England’s most revered literary sites, Jasmine hopes it will bring them closer together and help them reconcile the past.

Twenty-five years earlier the disappearance of Jasmine’s older sister devastated their tight-knit community. This tragedy returns to haunt Jasmine and Della when another child mysteriously goes missing on Hampstead Heath. As Jasmine immerses herself in the world of her literary idols – including Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, William Shakespeare and Virginia Woolf – Della is inspired to rediscover the wisdom of her own culture and storytelling. But sometimes the stories that are not told can become too great to bear.

After Story is a clever fusion of classic English literature and Indigenous storytelling, but at its heart it’s also about familial secrets and enduring love. Anyone who read and loved The White Girl by Tony Birch, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett or Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo will appreciate this brilliant, moving novel.’
—Madonna Duffy, Publishing Director at UQP

 

 

About the author

Larissa Behrendt is a Eualayai/Gamillaroi woman and author of two novels: Home, which won the 2002 David Unaipon Award and the regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book; and Legacy, which won the 2010 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing. She has published numerous books on Indigenous legal issues; her most recent non-fiction book is Finding Eliza: Colonial Power and Storytelling.

She was awarded the 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year award and 2011 NSW Australian of the Year. Larissa wrote and directed the feature films, After the Apology and Innocence Betrayed and has written and produced several short films. In 2018 she won the Australian Directors Guild Award for Best Direction in a Feature Documentary and in 2020 the AACTA for Best Direction in Factual Television. She is the host of Speaking Out on ABC Radio National and is Director of the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology, Sydney.

 

Author Q&A

Q: What was your inspiration for After Story?

A: The book was inspired by a confluence of things. It was inspired by my work with victims of crime and how families who have had a murder or a death in custody work tirelessly for decades to get justice. The system lets them down in so many ways but their love for their children, siblings and parents is unstoppable. At its heart, After Story is about enduring love. Meanwhile the characters of Della and Aunty Elaine are inspired by one of my dearest friends – someone who was my father’s age, but she became like a big sister to me. Aunty Elaine also draws on two other women Elders I have met on my travels who have been guides and mentors. I wanted to share some of the knowledge they passed onto me that helped me see the world differently.

Q: Tell us about the research process?

A: I mapped out the literary tour that Della and Jasmine take and took that same tour with my boyfriend. At the end of the trip, we spent a few days in Paris, and he proposed. It was a special time. For the tour I also drew on my own love of literature and the stories that were escapes for me when I was growing up and struggling with the racism I was experiencing. I loved the stories of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters, of Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf. But I also love the stories that I knew from my Indigenous culture that were not taught in my school. For After Story I was interested in juxtaposing Indigenous knowledge with what is still the dominant knowledges taught in schools and universities.

 Q: Tell us something we might not know about you?

A: I love female led action films like Wonder Woman and Atomic Blonde.

 

Book details

After Story is coming on 2 July 2021

ISBN
9780702265516 / RRP $32.99 / Trade paperback

Read a sample chapter now.

 

Advance reading copy giveaway

UQP has 20 advance reading copies of After Story available for giveaway!

To be in the running email UQP.

 

 

 

 

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