‘Tell me about it: you can trust me. I’m a writer.’ This ‘cautionary joke’ – one of few in this sober volume – cited in an essay by Frank Moorhouse, could be an epigraph for the latest Westerly. Editors Bird and Hughes-d’Aeth asked a selection of writers to share their thoughts on the ethics of writing. The ensuing essays include depictions of the past and of family in non-fiction, and play off each other interestingly. Kim Scott, Tiffany Shellam, and Clint Bracknell reflect on the Indigenous experience of colonisation. Scott offers a letter of sorts to an unnamed prison inmate, the result characteristically self-reflexive. Shellam delves into the archives to deconstruct the ‘friendly frontier’ trope, and Blaze Kwaymullina, in a metaphorically laboured appropriation of an appropriation, builds poems from the rearranged words of colonial archival documents.