When Mulanyin meets the beautiful Nita in Edenglassie, their saltwater people still outnumber the British. As colonial unrest peaks, Mulanyin dreams of taking his bride home to Yugambeh Country, but his plans for independence collide with white justice.
Two centuries later, fiery activist Winona meets Dr Johnny. Together they care for obstinate centenarian Granny Eddie, and sparks fly, but not always in the right direction. What nobody knows is how far the legacies of the past will reach into their modern lives.
In this brilliant epic, Melissa Lucashenko torches Queensland’s colonial myths, while reimagining an Australian future.
‘A literary epic ... The tragedy, injustice and brutality of the British invasion are made visible in the historical setting as well as in the contemporary one, where we see its impact on the present-day characters, but Edenglassie also portrays deep hope, resistance and reverence, and is fierce in its commitment to building a rich life swelling with love.’ Books + Publishing
‘In a starry year for First Nations writing, Melissa Lucashenko’s mesmerising Edenglassie (UQP) brilliantly illuminates a slice of history that was largely obscure to me. Expertly twining a contemporary narrative and a historical one, Edenglassie is wrenching at times, very funny at others, and always arresting. Lucashenko is an exhilarating writer, and this generous book is her most remarkable to date.’ Michelle de Kretser
‘Edenglassie paints a nuanced picture of the complex weave of relationships between the colonists and Goorie people, as well as bearing witness to terrible acts committed on country – massacres, stolen children – but it retains a grim humour, a lightness of foot, and a palpable commitment to never giving up on the ongoing struggle for recognition and respect. It is a rage-informed, joyful, rollicking, straight-talking yarn of the strength and persistence of Goorie people in Brisbane since the coming of the Dagai.’ Readings
‘Brimming with unforgettable characters and love in all its guises, Edenglassie is as heart-warming as it is heart-breaking. A voice for our times, Lucashenko shows us how to look to the future while holding the past close.’ Cheryl Akle, The Weekend Australian
‘Edenglassie moves in a great concentric arc with many ripples, like those in the river that is central to the action; and which is an ancient, unbroken vein that pulses life from past to present to future in a continuous cycle. Despite horrific colonial injustices meted out to Goories, this is a story of strength and love. It is an accumulation of all times – a testimony to the continuation of Aboriginal storytelling, value systems, intellectualism, scientific and technological literacy, and understandings of time, non-human agency, and Country.’ Australian Book Review
‘It is always such a pleasure to read Melissa Lucashenko’s writing. The interwoven timelines are seamless, the research is impeccable and nothing feels needlessly included because it was learned, the brutality is there but never gratuitous, and my heart sang and wept in equal measure.’ Lexie, Better Read than Dead
‘I could barely breathe towards the end of Edenglassie. Lucashenko bridges the gap between past and present in a way that’s utterly devastating… and also, somehow, she’s very funny. I don’t know how she does it, but she does it so well. I think this novel is brilliant.’ Jane, The Bookshop Bowral
‘Because it's Miles Franklin Award-winning Goorie writer Melissa Lucashenko taking us into this complex moment, there's humour as well as toughness, a distinct voice with dry asides layering up the banks and valleys and swamps and expanding landscape of Brisbane, once briefly called Edenglassie.’ Kate Evans, ABC Arts
‘In a place of biblical beauty, 'Edenglassie', the latest epic by Miles Franklin-winner Melissa Lucashenko, reflects a luminous spectrum of Aboriginal experience over five generations. Powered by a tidal rhythm that both enamours and smashes the heart, two life stories expand into a universe of meaning.’ The Saturday Paper
‘Lucashenko’s meticulously researched novel speaks to a deep-seated violence not just in the past, but in the way our colonial history continues to be represented. Edenglassie forms part of an essential conversation about our shared heritage; its urgent and modest request is that we listen.’ The Sydney Morning Herald
‘Lucashenko skewers white guilt and blows up colonial myths with a good dose of dark humour. She challenges us to not look away from the violence of the past while inviting us to imagine a better future.’ Justine Hyde, The Saturday Paper
‘The Queensland writer won the Miles Franklin for her last novel, Too Much Lip, and at the time said she was ready to write her “big book”. Well, here it is, and it lives up to her billing, dealing – after significant research – with the days when colonialists hadn’t quite outnumbered the Indigenous population in Brisbane, and the violence the former inflicted on the latter ... It’s a book that yearns for respect and honesty between black and white.’ Jason Steger, The Age
‘Edenglassie is Lucashenko at her best. There's a feisty female lead, romance, suspense, wit and intrigue. It's an ambitious novel that is beautiful, boisterous, and deeply moving - a lens on Australia's past that inspires you to think about how we might shape a more equitable future.’ Sarah Malik, SBS