‘Overlanding’, as in droving cattle across country at distance, waxed as a literary trope precisely as it waned as a means of labour. Like its dialectical opposite the Squatter, the Overlander is etymologically multiple, meaning both the drover who is employed and respectable, and the sundowner, who is itinerant and suspect. In the Australian social imaginary, one is elevated to a culture hero and a symbol of belonging, the indexes the repressed cognisance of the settler as a predatory interloper. One of the innovations of Leah Purcell’s adaptations of Lawson’s ‘The Drover’s Wife’ demonstrates the coextension of these types. The writing in our latest issue is animated by the problems and revelations of interiority. Elias Greig’s illuminating discussion of nativist paranoia in Heather Rose’s novel Bruny demonstrates the persistence of perennial settler fantasies of replacement. Through a more intimate lens EJ Clarence’s personal essay ‘Dovetails’ traces the ongoing psychological disconnections wrought by Australian forced adoption policies. The recurrence and recursion of the nominal past is also the subject of Natalia Figueroa Barroso’s graceful hybrid essay on linguistic loss and transformation ‘A guide to the colonisation of my mother tongues.’

Evelyn Araluen & Jonathan Dunk

Evelyn Araluen

Evelyn Araluen is a Goorie and Koori poet, researcher and co-editor of Overland Literary Journal. Her Stella-prize winning poetry collection DROPBEAR was published by UQP in 2021. She lectures in Literature and Creative Writing at Deakin University.

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Jonathan Dunk

Jonathan Dunk is the co-editor of Overland and a widely published poet and scholar. He lives on Wurundjeri country.

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