That Deadman Dance by Kim Scott

That Deadman Dance

Kim Scott

This is a clever fictional account of the merging cultures of the native Australian (Noongar) and early European settlers. I found it required full concentration as the non-linear narrative, lack of speech-marks, and occasional hybrid English-Aborigine prose was challenging at times. Without giving anything away, it has an interesting narrative perspective seeing that the author is the son of an Aboriginal father and an English mother.


Cross sent Bobby for Wooral and Menak, but only Wooral came. Bobby didn’t know what was wrong with Menak, or if he was grumpy with Cross and all his people, these new ones who had arrived with the latest ship. Cross said, No matter, but we need a dance performed, a corroboree. These visitors are our friends and we want to welcome them properly, make them feel at home. But only you, our Noongar friends, can truly do that.
Chaine laughed.

  • Cry of the Curlew by Peter Watts
  • Moby Dick by Helman Melville

Books with similar mood

Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr

John Crowley

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

The Thing Itself

Adam Roberts

The Clay Dreaming

Ed Hillyer

Burnt Shadows

Kamila Shamsie


W G Sebald


Ferdinand Mount

Terra Nullius

Clare G. Coleman

The Shining Girls

Lauren Beukes


Sebastian Fitzek

The History of History

Ida Hattemer-Higgins

The Secrets of the Lazarus Club

Tony Pollard

Soul Mountain

Gao Xingjian

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Stuart Turton


Patrick Flanery

South of Centre

Andrea Carter

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

David Wroblewski


Janice Galloway


Alan Trotter

The Man With the Compound Eyes

Wu Ming-Yi

The Invention of Everything Else

Samantha Hunt

The Forgetting Time

Sharon Guskin

Europe in Autumn

Dave Hutchinson

The Honey Guide

Richard Crompton

Ice Road

Gillian Slovo

The Good Son

You-jeong Jeong


Affinity Konar

By Battersea Bridge

Janet Davey

Gargling with Tar

Jachym Topol

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Susanna Clarke

Journey in Blue

Stig Dalager


Antoni Libera

The Farming of Bones

Edwidge Danticat

The School of Night

Alan Wall

A General Theory of Oblivion

José Eduardo Agualusa


Catherynne M Valente


Kitty Fitzgerald

Long Black Veil

Jennifer Finney Boylan

The Aeronaut's Guide to Rapture

Stuart Campbell

The Buried Giant

Kazuo Ishiguro

The Jump Artist

Austin Ratner


Tom McCarthy


Anthony Cartwright


Keith Ridgway


Richard T Kelly

Little Constructions

Anna Burns

Birds Without Wings

Louis De Bernieres

Blue Mars

Kim Stanley Robinson

See What I Have Done

Sarah Schmidt