Review of Mongrel Signatures: Reflections on the Work of Mudrooroo, edited by Annalisa Oboe
To attempt to compile a critical study of this prominent Australian writer is a controversial exercise in itself, and one that I'm pleased has been undertaken. The name 'Mudrooroo' will always be one that causes debate, ever since his works were brought into question after a family member released a statement that was subsequently published in The Australian Magazine. This statement alleged that the claim of Mudrooroo (formerly Colin Johnson, Mudrooroo Narogin and Mudrooroo Nyoongah) to have an Aboriginal background was false, and that he was actually of African-American descent. Mudrooroo, despite having lived with integrity as an Aboriginal man for thirty years, was very quickly discredited by a number of people, including some Aboriginal activists. Thankfully though, he still has his many supporters who believe that he is of Aboriginal background, and that his vast literary contribution in itself cannot be disputed.
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