Tony Birch


Tony Birch is the author of several novels and collections of short stories, including Ghost River, which received the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing; Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award; and, most recently, Common People. He is the first indigenous writer to receive the Patrick White Award. A regular guest on ABC local and national radio, Birch has been a longtime lecturer at Victoria University, where he is now the first recipient of the Dr. Bruce McGuinness Indigenous Research Fellowship. He lives in Melbourne, Australia. 

He finished the story and put his open hand on my chest. Pop told me I had a strong heart and I was to remember the story he’d told, and that it would be important to me to remember the shape of the constellation, which star went where in the dance of the story. Right there’s your map, he said, there in the sky. I ran all the way home that night, the stars above looking out for me, following me down the road, through the bush track I took for a shortcut home, all the way to Auntie Beryl’s front door. I hopped into bed that night and looked out of the window and up at the sky. The stars were there, watching me, the story whispering its way into my ear.


Some of my favorite people on earth are in this book,
Dear writers and grand spirits.

Annie Dillard