At the Hobart AATE/ALEA Literacy Conference in July 2017, I had an interesting chat with a teacher at a boys’ school who was looking for some canonical texts by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors which he could recommend to parents as significant literary works.
This is an area Anita Heiss has written much about and indeed is addressed in her edited collection ‘Stories Without End’, co-edited with Penny van Toorn. See review here
My suggestions at the time, and some more I have thought of since, include:
Terri Janke – Butterfly Song
Tara June Winch – Swallow the Air and After the Carnage
Roberta Sykes – Snake Cradle, Snake Dancing and Snake Circle
Alexis Wright – Carpentaria, The Swan Book
Boori Monty Pryor – Maybe Tomorrow
Ali Cobby Eckermann – various poetry
Archie Weller – Day of the Dog and Going Home for more gritty novels for those disengaged boys!
Samuel Wagan Watson, Lionel Fogerty – poetry
Kim Scott – That Deadman Dance (Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, 2011)
Charles Perkins – A Bastard Like Me
Uncle Bill Neidjie – Old Man’s Story and Kakadu Man
ALSO check out the titles listed here.
There are also many awards specific to Indigenous literature, and the shortlists give you an idea of the cream of the crop:
Please reply and add suggestions!