A din of competing noise

Confronting history at Tennant Creek
by
May 2022, no. 442

Telling Tennant’s Story: The strange career of the great Australian silence by Dean Ashenden

Black Inc., $34.99 pb, 352 pp

A din of competing noise

Confronting history at Tennant Creek
by
May 2022, no. 442
Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles) at dawn, near Tennant's Creek (Ingo Oeland/Alamy)
Karlu Karlu (Devils Marbles) at dawn, near Tennant's Creek (Ingo Oeland/Alamy)

In Telling Tennant’s Story, Dean Ashenden gives a lucid, succinct, eminently readable account of the reasons why Australia as a nation continues to struggle with how to acknowledge and move beyond its past. Travelling north to visit Tennant Creek for the first time since leaving it as a boy in 1955, Ashenden is provoked to question the absence of shared histories on the monuments and tourist information boards along the route. Mostly, the signs record pioneer history, from which the Indigenous people are absent. When the Indigenous story is invoked, it records traditional practices and does not mention white people. ‘How did they get from then to now?’ he muses. ‘Just don’t mention the war.’

Kim Mahood reviews 'Telling Tennant’s Story: The strange career of the great Australian silence' by Dean Ashenden

Telling Tennant’s Story: The strange career of the great Australian silence

by Dean Ashenden

Black Inc., $34.99 pb, 352 pp

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