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From the acclaimed author of the Miles Franklin longlisted Madukka: The River Serpent (UWA) and the Barbara Jefferis Award shortlisted Benevolence, Compassion continues Julie Janson’s emotional and intense literary exploration of the complex and dangerous lives of Aboriginal women during the 1800s in colonial New South Wales, which she began in Benevolence as a counter narrative to colonial history in Australian literature.

Compassion is the dramatised life story of one of Julie Janson’s ancestors who went on trial for stealing livestock in New South Wales, and it is an exciting and violent story of anti-colonial revenge and roaming adventure. A gripping fictive account of Aboriginal life in the 1800s, Compassion follows the life of Duringah, AKA Nell James, the outlaw daughter of the Darug hero of Benevolence, Muraging.


Praise for Compassion

“Often confronting yet utterly compelling...With so much of existing Australian history told through a colonial lens, Compassion (and Benevolence) offers a rich and evocative counter narrative from an Aboriginal perspective. A gripping yarn that is also essential reading.”
Melinda Tognini, Writing WA

“The novel continues her commitment to the emotional and penetrating exploration of the difficult and dangerous lives of Aboriginal women in colonial NSW...”
The Australian

“Janson has produced a kind of gothic historical novel that does justice to both the sorrow and the story of what Aboriginal Australia suffered, and the complexity and power of romance that came with the savagery of settlement and moments of mercy.”
Eddie Hampson, The Age

“Compassion exists as both narrative and truth, sufferance and healing, resistance and victory.”
Nardi Simpson

Julie Janson

Julie is a Burruberongal woman of the Darug Aboriginal nation NSW. She is a novelist, playwright, and poet. While living in remote Northern Territory in Yolngu communities in her early years as a teacher, Julie wrote plays and...

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