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Don't Take Your Love To Town

Don’t Take Your Love to Town is a brilliant memoir that will open your eyes and heart to an extraordinary woman’s story.


Now for the first time I was going to live in and off the bush. Hard physical gut-busting work and stealing sheep and flocks of galahs overhead and clear hot days and keeping the fires stoked at night. We slept in the car. There was Gordon and me and the four children, and when it rained we locked ourselves in the car till it stopped. I helped him in the night stoking fires.

Nearly twenty years ago, Ruby Langford Ginibi’s remarkable talent for storytelling grabbed the attention of both white and black Australians when she released Don’t Take Your Love to Town, which has gone on to become a bestseller and is now a seminal work of Indigenous memoir.

Don’t Take Your Love to Town is a story of courage in the face of poverty and tragedy. Ruby recounts losing her mother when she was six, growing up in a mission in northern New South Wales and leaving home when she was fifteen. She lived in tin huts and tents in the bush and picked up work on the land while raising nine children virtually single-handedly. Later she struggled to make ends meet in the Koori areas of Sydney. Ruby is an amazing woman whose sense of humour has endured through all the hardships she has experienced.

Ruby Langford-Ginibi

Ruby Langford-Ginibi

Ruby Langford Ginibi, a member of the Bundjalung people, was born in 1934 on Box Ridge mission Coraki. She grew up in Bonalbo and later Casino, New South Wales. Her autobiographies Don’t Take Your Love to Town (1988) and Real Deadly (1992) describe her life in the bush and later in Sydney raising a family of nine children.

Recognised as a spokesperson, educator and author of Koori culture, she travelled and lectured in Australia and abroad, and her essays were widely published. Her tribal name ‘Ginibi’ (black swan) was given to her in 1990 by her aunt, Eileen Morgan, a tribal elder of Box Ridge mission. She returned to Bundjalung country to re-establish connections with her family, community and land she left as a child. My Bundjalung People is an account of her journey home, and was published by UQP in 1994.