Winner of the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Award and 2021 Kate Challis RAKA Award!
"A beautifully written novel that puts language at the heart of remembering the past and understanding the present."--Kate Morton
"A groundbreaking novel for black and white Australia."--Richard Flanagan, Man Booker Prize winning author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North
A young Australian woman searches for her grandfather's dictionary, the key to halting a mining company from destroying her family's home and ancestral land in this exquisitely written, heartbreaking, yet hopeful novel of culture, language, tradition, suffering, and empowerment in the tradition of Louise Erdrich, Sandra Cisneros, and Amy Harmon.
Knowing that he will soon die, Albert "Poppy" Gondiwindi has one final task he must fulfill. A member of the indigenous Wiradjuri tribe, he has spent his adult life in Prosperous House and the town of Massacre Plains, a small enclave on the banks of the Murrumby River. Before he takes his last breath, Poppy is determined to pass on the language of his people, the traditions of his ancestors, and everything that was ever remembered by those who came before him. The land itself aids him; he finds the words on the wind.
After his passing, Poppy's granddaughter, August, returns home from Europe, where she has lived the past ten years, to attend his burial. Her overwhelming grief is compounded by the pain, anger, and sadness of memory--of growing up in poverty before her mother's incarceration, of the racism she and her people endured, of the mysterious disappearance of her sister when they were children; an event that has haunted her and changed her life. Her homecoming is bittersweet as she confronts the love of her kin and news that Prosperous is to be repossessed by a mining company. Determined to make amends and honor Poppy and her family, she vows to save their land--a quest guided by the voice of her grandfather that leads into the past, the stories of her people, the secrets of the river.
Told in three masterfully woven narratives, The Yield is a celebration of language and an exploration of what makes a place "home." A story of a people and a culture dispossessed, it is also a joyful reminder of what once was and what endures--a powerful reclaiming of Indigenous language, storytelling, and identity, that offers hope for the future.
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About the Author
Tara June Winch is the Wiradjuri author of novel Swallow the Air and short story collection After the Carnage. For her first novel, she was named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist and received mentorship from Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka as part of the prestigious Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. She was born in Australia in 1983 and currently lives in France with her family.
The Peoples, languages and wildlife of Australia have been purposely decimated for a great many years. The history of this vast land is a tragic one and this young Indigenous author has taken it on in a graceful act of retrieval and witness. The dictionary and use of Wiradjuri words is transporting. Birrabuwawanha--to return, to come back. The Yield is a fine novel, and one not without hope.--Joy Williams, author of Pulitzer Prize finalist The Quick and the Dead
Take courage when you read this book. You'll need it. Winch asks big questions of this country. Is the answer within us?--Bruce Pascoe, author of Dark Emu
The humorous undercurrent to some of Winch's short stories has no place here, and this is a more serious work than her previous books - but while she may have developed a more sophisticated style, her work is no less vivid, and this is an astonishingly elegant and powerful second novel.--The Sydney Morning Herald
The Yield sings up language, history, home, blood - all the important stuff.--Paul Kelly, author of How to Make Gravy
Reap the wisdom this book yields.--The Saturday Paper
A groundbreaking novel for black and white Australia.--Richard Flanagan, Man Booker Prize winning author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North
A beautifully written novel that puts language at the heart of remembering the past and understanding the present.--Kate Morton, internationally bestselling author of The Clockmaker's Daughter
Mesmerising and important.--Melissa Lucashenko, 2019 Miles Franklin award-winning author of Too Much Lip
A work of immense scope and sensitivity. ---Jessie Cole, author of Deeper Water
The Yield is the work of a major talent. It hypnotises with its lyricism, with the juxtaposition of horror and hope, and the candid look at family, country and history. It's a work to be savoured, to be enjoyed in the sun on a winter's day, and then to be shared--as widely as possible!--Madelaine Dickie, National Indigenous Times