We were becoming the wild things we most feared, but could not see it at the time.
On a night of raging winds and rain, Captain Cook’s Endeavour lies splintered on a coral reef off the coast of far north Australia. A small disparate band of survivors, fracturing already, huddle on the shore of this strange land – their pitiful salvage scant protection from the dangers of the unknown creatures and natives that live here.
Watching these mysterious white beings, the Guugu Yimidhirr people cannot decide if they are ancestor spirits to be welcomed – or hostile spirits to be speared. One headstrong young boy, Garrgiil, determines to do more than watch and to be the one to find out what exactly they are.
Fierce, intriguing and thoughtful, On a Barbarous Coast is the story of a past and future that might have been.
“Australia’s ‘origin’ story brilliantly re-imagined, in which Indigenous Australians rightfully assume their central place.” – Susan Johnson