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Bitin' Back:
First Nations Classics (with an introduction by Melissa Lucashenko)


Now included in UQP's First Nations Classics series with an introduction by Melissa Lucashenko, Bitin' Back is a rollicking comic novel that nimbly blends the realities of small town prejudice and racial intolerance.

(Trade paperback)
Available. Dispatched 2-3 business days

When the Blackouts' star player Nevil Dooley wakes one morning to don a frock and 'eyeshada', his mother's idle days at the bingo hall are gone forever. Mystified and clueless, single parent Mavis takes to bush-cunning and fast footwork to unravel the mystery behind this sudden change of face.

Funny and cleverly covert, too, this is a truthful rendering of small-town prejudice and racist attitudes. Hilarity prevails while desperation builds in the race to save Nevil from the savage consequences of his discovery in a town where a career in footy is a young black man’s only escape. Neither pig shoots, bust-ups at the Two Dogs, bare-knuckle sessions in the shed nor even a police siege can slow the countdown on this human timebomb.

Vivienne Cleven

Vivienne Cleven

Vivienne Cleven was born in 1968 in Surat and grew up in western Queensland, homeland of her Aboriginal heritage. She left school at thirteen to work with her father as a jillaroo: building fences, mustering cattle, and working at various jobs on stations throughout Queensland and New South Wales.

In 2000, with the manuscript Bitin' Back, Vivienne entered and won the David Unaipon Award. In demand at literary events and workshops, she has published articles and fiction in anthologies, magazines and journals. Her second novel was Her Sister’s Eye. Vivienne lives in the bush, is studying her PhD and is working on her latest novel.