Shortlist year: 2011

Shortlist category: Fiction

Published by: Pan MacMillan (Picador)

Bobby Wabalanginy never learned fear, not until he was pretty well a grown man. Sure, he grew up doing the Dead Man Dance, but with him it was a dance of life, a lively dance for people to do together...

Told through the eyes of black and white, young and old, this is a story about a fledgling Western Australian community in the early 1800s known as the 'friendly frontier'.

Poetic, warm-hearted and bold, it is a story which shows that first contact did not have to lead to war.

It is a story for our times.

About the author

Kim Scott

Kim Scott grew up on the South Coast of Western Australia. As a descendant of those who first created human society along that edge of ocean, he is proud to be one among those who call themselves Noongar. He began writing for publication when he became a teacher of English and has had poetry and short stories published in a number of anthologies. His second novel, Benang: From the Heart, won the 1999 WA Premier's Book Award, the 2000 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the 2001 Kate Challis RAKA Award. That Deadman Dance, first published in 2010, won the 2011 Miles Franklin Award, the 2011 ALS Gold Medal, 2011 Victorian Premiers Prize for Literature, 2011 Victorian Premiers Prize for Fiction, 2011 Kate Challis RAKA Award, 2011 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book—Regional Winner, the 2010 Western Australian Premier's Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for many others. Kim lives in Coolbellup, Western Australia, and is currently employed at the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University.