Bookshelf

 
Scroll down the page to find out more about my publications, or click on the links below.
 

Paris Dreaming

 
 

Paris Dreaming

'I'm telling you now: I'm never having another boyfriend - EVER!'
 
Libby is on a man-fast: no more romance, no more cheating men, no more heartbreak. After all, she has her three best girlfriends and two cats to keep her company at night and her high-powered job at the National Aboriginal Gallery in Canberra to occupy her day - isn't that enough?
But when fate gives Libby the chance to work in Paris at the Musée duQuai Branly, she's thrown out of her comfort zone and into a city full of culture, fashion and love.
Surrounded by thousands of gorgeous men, cute baristas and smooth-tongued lotharios, romance has suddenly become a lot more tempting.
And as if life wasn't hard enough, there's a chauvinist colleague at theMusée who seems determined to destroy Libby's exhibition in every way he can.Then there's Libby's new friend Sorina, a young Roma gypsy, desperate to escape deportation. Libby must save her job and save her friend, but can she save herself from a broken heart?
 
Industry reviews
Australian Bookseller and Publisher
Heiss captures all the wide-eyed excitement of Manhattan: the sights;the shopping; the history; and - of course- the men. Like the author, Lauren is a member of the Wiradjuri nation. Her deep connection to her people and culture is a vital part of the story- and what sets Manhattan Dreaming apart from other chick-lit. It’s a contemporary romance with spunk, and I enjoyed it a lot.

The West Australian
With the classic romantic edning up the Empire State Building (you just knew it was coming), this may well get you appreciating Aboriginal Art and dreaming of life in the Big Apple.

Brisbane News
There is political contect and a subtle weaving of information about Aboriginal culture, while on the surface there’s the romance and situational comedy that attracts many readers.
 
Anita on Paris Dreaming:
On the new novel and her writing process click the Sydney Writers' Centre  video here!
Anita chatted to James Valentine on ABC 702 about Paris Dreaming. You can listen here!
 
There's been a lot of blogging about Paris Dreaming also:
Anita answers 'Why Paris?' on the Reading Upside Down blog.
 
Anita discusses 'Why chick lit?' on the Book Show Blog.
 
Anita divulges five things Libby Cutmore is grateful for on Sara Foster's blog.
 
Anita talks Paris and tiddas on the Paige Loves Books Blog.
 
Reviews:
 

Manhattan Dreaming

 
 

About the book

Lauren is a curator at the National Aboriginal Gallery in Canberra. She's good at her job, passionate about the Arts, and takes work seriously. It's easy for Lauren to focus on work, that is, when she's not focusing on Adam.
 
Lauren is smitten with, or as her friends say, obsessed with Adam - the star forward for the Canberra Cockatoos. But Adam is a player, on and off the field. To everyone other than Lauren, it is clear that Adam doesn't want to be in a relationship at all, even though he likes being with Lauren. In a few short months Adam is involved in one too many scandals that make the press. She is shattered and breaks it off though she can't quite let go
 
When she tries to convince her friends that she is waiting for Adam to have his epiphany and realise they are meant to be together, her friends decide to do an intervention on her. Under pressure from them, Lauren successfully applies for her dream job at the Smithsonian in New York. She leaves for the Big Apple, telling herself, that Adam will miss her so much he will see the light and eventually come begging.
 
Once landing in NYC, Lauren's life goes into overdrive with the preparation of the exhibition, finding her way around the city and marvelling at the city that never sleeps.
 
There are a lot of men in New York who flirt with Lauren, in fact, there are men everywhere. In the street, on the subway, in cafes and galleries, even in her workplace. They really like her, and they love her accent. They fuss over her and just like being around her. Adam had never really been like that with her at all.
 
But when Adam appears on her doorstep some months later, having apparently had the epiphany she was waiting for, Lauren is confused. He catches Lauren at a weak moment - the exhibition she has been working is almost complete and she has to make some big decisions: The Man or Manhattan?
 
Praise for Manhattan Dreaming

* Heiss captures all the wide-eyed excitement of Manhattan: the sights; the shopping; the history; and?of course?the men. Like the author, Lauren is a member of the Wiradjuri nation. Her deep connection to her people and culture is a vital part of the story?and what sets Manhattan Dreaming apart from other chick-lit. It's a contemporary romance with spunk, and I enjoyed it a lot. - Australian Bookseller and Publisher.

* With the classic romantic ending up the Empire State Building (you just knew it was coming), this may well get you appreciating Aboriginal art and dreaming of life in the Big Apple. The West Australian
 
* There is political content and a subtle weaving of information about Aboriginal culture while on the surface there's the romance and situational comedy that attracts many reader. - Brisbane News
 
Kudos for Manhattan Dreaming in The Guardian
 
Book club notes created by Ana Australiana.
Book club notes by Ann Deslandes

How To Order Manhattan Dreaming:

Gleebooks(Sydney)
Avid Reader(Brisbane)
Readings(Melbourne)
Bookworld (formerly Borders - Nationally)
Angus & Robertson(Nationally)
 

Reviews of Manhattan Dreaming

 
 
 

 

Avoiding Mr Right

 
 

About the book

'So it's final then, you're not taking James to Melbourne?' Liza asked.
'Are you kidding? Taking a man to Melbourne would be like taking a sandwich to a smorgasbord.'
 
Peta Tully has found her Mr Right . the only trouble is, she's not sure she's ready to settle down. Not just yet, anyway - so when she's offered a twelve-month contract interstate which just might win her the job of her dreams, she puts her Sydney life on hold, packs her bags and jumps on a plane, leaving her doting boyfriend behind. Peta takes a voluntary vow of celibacy, but sticking to it proves harder than she imagines.
 
This is Anita Heiss's second book about Peta, Alice, Liza and Dannie, four deadly, desirable and dynamic thirty-something chicks from Sydney's eastern beaches who first appeared in Not Meeting Mr Right.
 
Few people could achieve the publishing double of a chick-lit novel and a literary anthology in the same year, but Anita Heiss is one of them - Annabel McGilvray Vive Magazine
 
Anita Heiss could well be Indigenous Australia's answer to Carrie Bradshaw - Judy Skatssoon AAP (Canberra Times, Adelaide Advertiser, Newcastle Herald, Courier Mail, Sunday Territorian, National Indigenous Times. New York Daily News)
 
Anita Heiss is a hoot. She is funny, generous, glamorous and looking for Mr Right. When not publishing scholarly editions of Indigenous writing she has a deft way with Chick Lit. - Rosemary Cameron Festival Director, MWF 2008
 
Avoiding Mr Right is sassy, intelligent, strong, independent and brilliantly funny - Deborah Mailman star of The Secret Life of Us.
 
Avoiding Mr Right is fun, sexy and adventurous - Terri Janke author of Butterfly Song
 
Witty entertainment! - Woman's Day.
 
Cheeky fun...Anita Heiss' witty prose will have you hooked from the first page - Andrea Black, New Idea.
 
Anita Heiss boomerangs back with Avoiding Mr Right! - Jeanne Ryckmans Vogue Australia.
 
It's enough to make a red blooded Aussie male install a wall mounted book rack in the ensuite - Darryl Brohman radio personality.
 

How to order:

Bookworld (Formerly Borders)
 
Published by Bantam Books RRP $23.95
 
 

 

Macquarie PEN Anthology Of Aboriginal Literature

Edited by Dr Anita Heiss and Peter Minter
 
 

About the book

The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature is a nationally significant literature project, and the first comprehensive anthology of Australian Aboriginal writing from the late 18th century to the present. It is edited by Indigenous author Anita Heiss and award-winning poet, editor and scholar Peter Minter. The anthology has been developed under the auspices of Macquarie University and Sydney Centre of International PEN, and funded by major grants from the Australian Research Council and the Australia Council for the Arts.
 
Literature has been a powerful tool for Aboriginal Australians, a group which has been rendered largely voiceless in the mainstream Australian political system. These works chronicle the ongoing suffering of dispossession, but also the resilience of Aboriginal people across the country, and the hope and joy in their lives. Included are selected pieces of literature, poetry, drama, letters, autobiography, radio broadcast and political statements ?beginning with a 1796 letter by Bennelong (the first known text in the English language by an Aboriginal author) and culminating in the most recently published, from Tara June Winch's Swallow the Air, which won the David Unaipon Award for Indigenous Writers in 2004 and a NSW Premier's Literary Award in 2007.
 
The resurgence of Aboriginal writing in recent years has taken place during a widespread and vigorous renewal in Aboriginal culture, which has seen the production of highly significant works that appeal to readers around the world. A central initiative of this project is to encourage the study of Aboriginal literature in schools and provide a much needed text to which teachers and parents can refer, to expose Indigenous children to their own literary heritage, as well as non-Indigenous children.
 
Literacy for Indigenous children is an important issue in our current social climate, which Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has promised to address with the Federal Government's policy on education for all Indigenous children under the age of four. This book celebrating Indigenous literature is sure to be a positive contribution.
 
This volume is extremely significant from an Indigenous cultural perspective, containing many works that afford the reader a treasured insight into the Indigenous cultural world of Australia - Mick Dodson
 
...an outstanding collection which is a history of Aboriginal writing in English, a cultural record and a reflection on Aboriginal contact with White Australia - Australian Bookseller & Publisher
 
Reviews:
 

How to order:

ACT (Canberra):Paperchain
Bookworld (formerly Borders)
 
Published by Allen & Unwin RRP $39.95
 
 

 

Who Am I? The Diary Of Mary Talence, Sydney, 1937

New cover design for the re-release of Who am I? the diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937
Previous cover design for Who am I? the diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937
 

About the book

I woke up this morning and I couldn't stop crying cos this place is not my home, even though everyone says it is. I miss Matron Rose and all the kids and now I miss my real mum more than ever. When I was a little girl Mum would always hug me when I cried and tell me everything would be all right. Who's gunna hug me here?
 
Mary was taken to Bomaderry Aboriginal Children's Home when she was only five years old. Now she's ten years old and living with a white family in Sydney. She doesn't fit in and starts to question why.
 
Short-listed for the NSW Premiers Young Peoples History Prize 2002
 
Judges comments:
Why is colour important? Mary Talence, an Aboriginal girl separated from her family when she was five, and several years later removed to live with a white family on Sydney's leafy North Shore, wants to know the answer. This skilfully written fictionalised account set in 1937 uses a series of diary entries to unfold both a personal and a national story. It includes detailed historical notes and a bibliography, making this book not only very moving and very readable, but also an introduction to the history of Aboriginal-white relations in twentieth century Australia. The tale is poignant, the ending optimistic; this book conveys both the tragedy and the courage of the stolen generation.
 

Listed on:

 

On-line reviews:

Kate Forsyth - blog
 
 
How to order:
 
 
 

 

Yirra And Her Deadly Dog, Demon

 
 

About the book

With her mum on the warpath, it's a race against time for Yirra to find a dog trainer for naughty Demon.
Yirra's mum's sick of vacuuming up fur balls, the neighbours are fed up with having their undies nicked from the clothesline, and her step-dad just wants his slippers back.
 
If Yirra doesn't find a dog-trainer soon, she'll have to give her beloved Demon to a new family ? one who likes dogs who run and dig a lot!
 
Bursting with energy and madcap fun, Yirra and her deadly dog, Demon gives young readers a contemporary view of urban Indigenous life in Sydney.
 
Yirra is a special book. It came about through the Indigenous Arts Reference Group of the NSW Ministry for the Arts, and the City of Sydney, who awarded Anita the 2004 Indigenous Arts Fellowship so she could work on this project.
 
Anita very much wanted to contribute to the community she lived close to all her life, having grown up in Matraville. Over a period of fifteen months, Anita worked with the students of La Perouse Public School, who are nearly all Indigenous, to write Yirra. From creative writing workshops to brainstorming sessions, the children used experiences from their own lifestyle at La Perouse for ideas. Royalties from the book will be split 50:50 between Anita and the school, and revenue generated will go towards writing and reading projects for La Perouse Public School.
 
Adam Hill began drawing at eight years of age. Adam earned extra food in primary school by drawing other students' title pages. Later, Adam studied drawing at TAFE and then university. Today, Adam draws daily as a job.
 
Available at ABC Shops, ABC Centres, selected bookstores or phone 1300 360 111.
 
Review: '... graced with a warm, easygoing humour as it paints a human-scale portrait of a minority often in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.' (Rosemary Neill in Weekend Australian Review magazine, 30 June 2007.)
 
On-line Review: Goldcreek
 
RRP: $14.95
 
Available from:
 
 
 

 

Not Meeting Mr Right

 
 

About the book

I am deadly, desirable and delicious! This is Alice's mantra as she hilariously negotiates her way through the rocky terrain of singledom.
 
Not Meeting Mr Right opens with 28 year old Alice at her school reunion. All the girls seem to be married with children and to any outsider looking in, are with Mr Right.
 
Alice Aigner is successful in every aspect of her life except her love life. She is Head of the History Department at an exclusive girls school, she lives in a fabulous beachside apartment and drives a flash car but she can't find a man that she wants to stay with and 'settle down' or that wants the same from her. In a drunken moment she promises her girlfriends that she will meet and marry Mr Right before she turns 30. The challenge is set and throughout this novel we meet her prospective husbands! What Alice learns of course is that sometimes happiness is right under our noses and that unless we're happy in ourselves, we can't find happiness and love with someone else.
 
Who could not fall in love with our Aboriginal heroine as she dates, amongst others: Renan- whose career plan is to be one of the world's best moonwalkers and male hula dancers; Tufu the commitment phobic Samoan football player; scary Simon the one night stand and Paul - Mr Dreamboat with the inept criminal past. And she skilfully avoids dating Cliff, son of her mum's friend , who is a 42 year old bachelor hairdresser who isn't likely to settle down with a woman anytime soon.
 

How to order:

Bookworld (formerly Borders)
 
 
 

 

I'm Not Racist, But...

 
 
 

About the book

I'm not racist, but is a collection of social observations, thoughts and conversations the author has had over 15 years travelling Australia and the world; as a tourist, as a writer, as an academic, and always as a proud, strong, contemporary Aboriginal woman.
 
From the home of the largest Indigenous population in Australia - the city of Sydney - to the Mohawk Reserve of Kanhawake, Quebec, the work considers issues of Aboriginal identity, both imposed and self-defined, the process of reconciliation and issues around saying 'sorry', notions of 'truth' and integrity, biculturalism and invisible whiteness.
 
Poems like ?My Best Friend's White? demonstrate the way in which racism is entrenched in every day Aussie phraseology, while the saturation of political correctness, the increased need for 'token Kooris' and the unreal expectations of Aboriginal people are highlighted in the short radio play, ?Token Kooris: Blackfellas for Hire?.
 
In this collection, Heiss challenges her reader to consider what it is they are doing when they research or write about Aborigines, what role Aboriginal Studies plays in academia and what indeed, anthropologists actually study. Heiss questions what the spirit of Australia is and offers a ?10 Point Plan for A Better Australia?, which will possibly only come about after digesting her ?A-Z of First Contact?.
 
Some may consider Heiss' work as experimental. She considers them words that may help readers understand the issues that impact daily on the ways in which we all relate to each other regardless of heritage.
 
Reviews:
Subversive Reader for the Australian Women's Writers challenge
 

I'm Not Racist, but... is available from Amazon

 
 

 

Life In Gadigal Country

 
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Life In Gadigal Country is the first anthology of writing published by Gadigal Information Service, and a tribute to the Gadigal peoples of Sydney.
 
The book is a collection of writings of some of the strongest political voices, by some of the most promising cotemporary writers, about some of the most significant issues that have faced the first peoples of the country known as Gadigal Country, since the process of colonisation began in 1788.
 
With an introduction by Dr Anita Heiss, the contributors include: Brenda L. Croft, Kate Gilbert, Nancia Guivarra, Gordon Hookey, Terri Janke, Jonathan Jones, Ruby Langford Ginibi, John Lennis, Melissa Lucashenko, Lorraine McGee-Sippel, Brenda Palmer, Kerry Reed-Gilbert, and Steven Ross.
 
This title is out of print.
 
 

 

Token Koori

 
 

About the book

Following her satirical look at Ozzie Kulture in Sacred Cows, Anita Heiss ventured into the world of poetry with some hard-hitting realities about contemporary Aboriginality. Her journey as an urban blackfella is touch by politics, passion and personal growth.
 

Testimonials

'The everyday life of a contemporary Koori woman is Token Koori - a book to be read - it's Deadly.' - Kerry Reed-Gilbert, poet and political activist
 
'A passionate and articulate voice, Anita Heiss is a writer who provokes and challenges - and who does not let her readers off the hook.' - Lynne Spender, Australian Society of Authors
 
'Anita Heiss is one of the brightest of the new generation of Aboriginal writers. Intelligent, funny, incisive, her observations on black and white relations in Australia reveal a powerful and original new voice on the literary scene.' - Irina Dunn, NSW Writers' Centre
 

How to order:

This title is OUT OF PRINT but some poems are reprinted in I'm not racist, but a collection of social observations. (Salt, 2007)
 
 
 

 

Stories Without End

 
 
Anita co-edited Stories Without End (Southerly 2/2002) with Penny Van Toorn.
 

The collection includes:

Essays by A.Wright, S.P. Hopfer, J.A. Martinello, E.E. Hodgson, A. Brewster
Fiction by K. Scott, T. Janke, A. Taylor, J. Thomas
Poetry by J. Martinello, R. Smith, M, Lucashenko, K. Scott & many others
Drama E. Blackmore, W. Enoch
Document L. Fogarty
Interview Wayne King by P. van Toorn
Reviews S.W. Watson, M.A. Bin Sallik, A.M. Chalarimeri, V. Cleven, K. Reed-Gilbert, M. Mallett, A. Heiss, Papunya School with N. Wheatley & K. Searle, A. Moreton Robinson, E. Govor
 
Cover image is by Lionel Fogarty.
 

 

 

 

Me and My Mum

 
 
 
More information to come
 

How To Order

 
 
 

 

Sacred Cows

 
 
About the book
Sacred Cows is a satirical take on white Australian icons from an Indigenous perspective, analysising Australian pastimes like going to Luna Park, the backyard barbecue, idolizing Skippy, celebrating Anzac Day and going to beach. The text is accompanied by Danny Eastwood's clever illustrations.
 

Available:

Booktopia