Song of the Crocodile (published by Hachette Australia, 2020) is another shortlisted title in this year’s The Age Book of the Year award. The debut novel of Sydney based Nardi Simpson, a musician and performer before she turned to writing, Song of the Crocodile is set in Yuwaalaraay country, in north-western New South Wales.
The story follows several generations of a family living in a shanty town called “The Campgrounds”. Life is not easy for the family who live in improvised conditions, and are frequently subjected to the prejudice and intolerance of the white Australians they live and work among.
They must also contend with Garriya, a nasty crocodile spirit who has possessed one of their children. If I had to decide whether I’d read this book based on its cover, I wouldn’t hesitate. Aren’t you drawn in by the stars in the night sky, and the sun baked landscape? The winner of The Age Book of the Year will be announced on Friday, 3 September, 2021.