Thames & Hudson
Black Duck: A Year at Yumburra
‘Sometimes you need to repeat something a hundred times before a bell rings in the colony.’
From the bestselling author Bruce Pascoe comes a deeply personal story about the consequences and responsibility of disrupting Australia’s history.
When Dark Emu was adopted by Australia like a new anthem, Bruce found himself at the centre of a national debate that often focussed on the wrong part of the story. But through all the noise came Black Duck Foods, a blueprint for traditional food growing and land management processes based on very old practices.
Bruce Pascoe and Lyn Harwood invite us to imagine a different future for Australia, one where we can honour our relationship with nature and improve agriculture and forestry. Where we can develop a uniquely Australian cuisine that will reduce carbon emissions, preserve scarce water resources and rebuild our soil. Bruce and Lyn show us that you don’t just work Country, you look, listen and care. It’s not Black Duck magic, it’s the result of simply treating Australia like herself.
From the aftermath of devastating bushfires and the impact of an elder’s death to rebuilding a marriage and counting the personal cost of starting a movement, Black Duck is a remarkable glimpse into a year of finding strength in Country at Yumburra.
‘Bruce invites us onto the land that changed the man behind the book that changed the nation.’ – Narelda Jacobs
‘Bruce’s love of Country is resoundingly evident. I get the sense that this book and his work with the Black Duck team has been profoundly cleansing for a man who has faced numerous challenges in his life after Dark Emu. His connection to place, land and Country is at the core of his remarkable resilience. Bruce gets right into the belly of the land and storytelling, a medicine this country needs.’ – Stephen Page
‘This brilliant book gives a real insight into the minds and lives of Bruce and Lyn and the impact Dark Emu had on both of them.’ – Tony Armstrong
‘Bruce and Lyn so eloquently bring us into intimate contact with the land and our beautiful culture – reminding us all of the rich history that Australia holds.’ – Allira Potter
About the author
Bruce Pascoe is a Bunurong, Yuin and Tasmanian Aboriginal writer of literary fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays and children's literature. He is the enterprise professor in Indigenous Agriculture at the University of Melbourne. He is best known for his work Dark Emu: Aboriginal Australia and the Birth of Agriculture (Magabala Books 2014).
Lyn Harwood has been reading stories for over sixty years. For many of those years she co-edited Australian Short Stories with Bruce Pascoe. Now she paints, takes photographs and wanders through the bush searching for orchids.
Bruce Pascoe with Lyn Harwood
Published April 2024
233 mm x 153 mm