Truganini: Journey Through the Apocalypse, by my client, the eminent historian Dr Cassandra Pybus, will be available next week.
Her biography of Truganini, erroneously known in the popular imagination as ‘the last Tasmanian’ of her race, is a significant work of scholarship that is also a deeply personal reckoning with colonial history and dispossession.
Cassandra Pybus’s ancestors told a story of an old Aboriginal woman who would wander across their farm on Bruny Island, in south-east Tasmania, in the 1850s and 1860s. As a child, Cassandra didn’t know this woman was Truganini, and that Truganini was walking over the country of her clan, the Nuenonne.
For nearly seven decades, Truganini lived through a psychological and cultural shift more extreme than we can imagine. But her life was much more than a regrettable tragedy. Now Cassandra has examined the original eyewitness accounts to write Truganini’s extraordinary story in full.
“For the first time a biographer who treats her with the insight and empathy she deserves. The result is a book of unquestionable national importance.” — Professor Henry Reynolds, University of Tasmania
“A compelling story, beautifully told.” — Julia Baird, author and broadcaster
“At last, a book to give Truganini the proper attention she deserves.” — Gaye Sculthorpe, Curator of Oceania, The British Museum
Early bookseller and media support for Truganini is strong, including this excerpt in The Australian on 22 February.