Author(s): WATSON, DON
After their military defeat in 1745, the Scottish Highlanders suffered a worse humiliation. They were displaced from their ancestral lands and became curiosities: objects of romantic nostalgia, charity, scorn, anthropology - and emigration. This is a tale of their dispossession. It also tells the rout of another people, the Kurnai of Gippsland in south-eastern Australia. Prominent among those who did the routing were emigrant Highlanders like the explorer Angus McMillan. Don Watson writes about the frontier on which those two cultures met. It is a story full of tragic ironies and myths which linger to this day. First published in 1984 and recognised as a significant revisionist work, Caledonia Australis is all the more intriguing and instructive now as debate continues to rage over Aboriginal native title, practical reconciliation and the way Australian history should be written, taught and understood.
Don Watson's Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: Paul Keating Prime Minister, won the Age Book of the Year and Non-Fiction Prizes, the Brisbane Courier Mail Book of the Year, the National Biography Award and the Australian Literary Studies Association's Book of the Year. His Quarterly Essay, Rabbit Syndrome: Australia and America won the Alfred Deakin Essay Prize. Death Sentence, his best-selling book about the decay of public language won the Australian Booksellers Association Book of the Year 2003. Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words, another best-seller, was published in 2004. His most recent book American Journeys won the Age Non-Fiction and Book of the Year Awards in 2008. It also won the inaugural Indie Award for Non-Fiction and has been shortlisted for the Walkley Award for Non-Fiction.