As a young reader, Patricia Wrightson was one of my favourite authors. But in this short piece I wrote for the Australian Women Writers Challenge, I reevaluate Wrightson’s use of Indigenous culture.

Drawing on Aboriginal stories and culture, Wrightson’s fictional spirit characters held all the power and mystery of 60,000 years of Dreaming – power distinctly lacking in invented colonial fantasies like May Gibb’s saccharine Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

A gifted and evocative writer, Wrightson opened my eyes (and my mind) to the possibility of magic and mystery that belonged to this place, this continent. She genuinely changed the way I, a white Australian girl from the suburbs, looked at my world. I’ve since spoken with other readers of my vintage, who felt the same.

And yet.

Wrightson’s novels are no longer in print.

Which is probably for the best.

Wrightson was … [Click here to read more]