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.