Debra Dank’s acclaimed memoir We Come With This Place has secured a record-breaking four wins at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards in Australia.
Dank’s debut – published by Echo Publishing last year – swept the ceremony: landing Book of the Year, the Douglas Stewart Prize for Nonfiction, the Indigenous Writers’ Prize, and the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing.
The judging panel commented that “We Come With This Place is an outstanding narrative of outback Aboriginal life, family and traditional philosophy… Born of a generation who literally fled for their lives from frontier violence in the Gulf, Dank gently takes the reader into her Gudanji universe… The writing is culturally rigorous and deeply thoughtful. Dank seeks to expand the horizons of the reader in a way which centres, not the author as an individual, but rather her Country and the wider community she has grown within. Most of all, her memoir shows a powerful path forward from colonial trauma towards a space of mutual respect and self-determining futures. Essential reading.”
The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards celebrates the best in contemporary Australian writing, with judges taking their pick this year from a record 856 entries. We Come With This Place’s unprecedented prize haul represents Echo Publishing’s first wins at the awards.
Juliet Rogers, Publisher at Echo Publishing said: “This is a very special book, and all of us at Echo Publishing feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to publish it. From the first reading of the manuscript, I believed that We Come with this Place will become an Australian classic that will be read by generations to come. We are so thrilled by Debra’s success, not only because she is a writer of great talent, but also because what she is saying, matters to us all.”
A deeply personal, profound tribute to family and the Gudanji Country to which the author belongs, We Come With This Place has received a number of rapturous reviews, with the Guardian describing the book as ‘a jewel to rival Australia’s great desert memoirs’. It was also shortlisted for the prestigious Stella Prize.