Born Into This by Adam Thompson

Born into this is a collection of short stories by emerging Aboriginal writer Adam Thompson. Adam hails from Tasmania, and the rugged beauty and isolation of the Tasmanian landscape in imbued in his stories. I found the collection quite unique, both in being from a contemporary Aboriginal perspective and in its depiction of Tasmania, both urban and remote.

For example, in 'The old tin mine', Ben is leading a group of young Aboriginal kids on a survival camp, city kids out to discover 'traditional food, yarns and roughing it'. There were some concessions made to traditional ways; sleeping bags, a frying pan, and the necessity for a white group leader Chris to accompany them.  And Ben has his own requirements, including his stash of cannabis he uses for medicinal purposes. When this goes missing, things take a turn for the worse and he suspects his young charges are responsible. Ben leads the group on a grueling hike. Their water supply is running out. He will lead them to water, but only if his stash is returned. Ben hopes depriving the group will force a confession - he knows this country well, but does he know it well enough? This changing nature of the natural world is a recurring theme in the stories. 

Living on remote islands, seeking connection with community and country, a country that has been vastly altered by settlement, climate change and development. Navigating between two worlds, and the politics, marginalisation and racism encountered by those who identify as Aboriginal. The stories are poignant, sometimes confronting, sometimes humorous, and give the reader a range of experiences and voices to consider. Born into this is compelling and thought provoking reading, I recommend you check it out.

Robyn 

Born Into This by Adam Thompson
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