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Always Will Be

From the 2022 David Unaipon winner comes an outstanding and timely collection of speculative fiction imagining futures where Indigenous sovereignty is fully reasserted.

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In this stunningly inventive and thought-provoking collection, Mykaela Saunders poses the question: what might country, community and culture look like in the Tweed if Gooris reasserted their sovereignty?

Each of the stories in Always Will Be is set in its own future version of the Tweed. In one, a group of girls plot their escape from a home they have no memory of entering. In another, two men make a final visit to the country they love as they contemplate a new life in a faraway place. Saunders imagines different scenarios for how the local Goori community might reassert sovereignty – reclaiming country, exerting full self-determination, or incorporating non-Indigenous people into the social fabric – while practising creative, ancestrally approved ways of living with changing climates.

Epic in scope, and with a diverse cast of characters, Always Will Be is the ground-breaking winner of the 2022 David Unaipon Award. This is a forward-thinking collection that refuses cynicism and despair, and instead offers entertaining stories that celebrate Goori ways of being, knowing, doing – and becoming.

Mykaela Saunders

Mykaela Saunders

Dr Mykaela Saunders is a Koori/Goori and Lebanese writer, teacher and researcher, and the editor of This All Come Back Now, the Aurealis Award–winning, world-first anthology of blackfella speculative fiction (UQP, 2022). Always Will Be won the 2022 David Unaipon Award. Mykaela’s novel manuscript Last Rites of Spring was also shortlisted for the Unaipon Award in 2020, and received a Next Chapter Fellowship in 2021. Mykaela has won the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Indigenous Poetry Prize, the National Indigenous Story Award, the Grace Marion Wilson Emerging Writers Prize for creative non-fiction and the University of Sydney’s Sister Alison Bush Graduate Medal for Indigenous research. Of Dharug descent, Mykaela belongs to the Tweed Goori community through her Bundjalung and South Sea Islander family. Mykaela has worked in Aboriginal education since 2003, and at the tertiary level since 2012. They are currently an Indigenous postdoctoral fellow at Macquarie University, researching First Nations speculative fiction.