Where the Fruit Falls
UWA Publishing, $27.99 pb, 344 pp
Set in colonial Australia in the 1960s and 1970s, Karen Wyld’s new novel Where the Fruit Falls examines the depths of Black matriarchal fortitude over four generations. Across the continent, Black resistance simmers. First Nations people navigate continued genocide and displacement, with families torn apart by the state. Where the Fruit Falls focuses on the residual effects and implications of such realities, though it presents a quieter narrative: one of apple trees, wise Aunties, guiding grandmothers, and settlers both malicious and kind-hearted.
Where the Fruit Falls joins contemporary works such as Tony Birch’s The White Girl (2019), where intricacies of the author’s historical focus shine through. Like Birch, Wyld focuses on a time where constitutional recognition was said to have drastically changed First Nations people’s lives. These authors tell a different story though, offering narratives that are arguably more truthful regarding the extent of varying forms of oppression experienced by First Nations people – influenced by where you landed and how safe it was to put roots down and exist.