Synopsis for The Last Gundir
When a six-year-old boy of the Turrbal (Brisbane) tribe suffers a mysterious illness at the bunya nut festival, his uncle initially thinks it is poison. But the true horror is revealed when they realise that a gundir (Aboriginal sorcerer) has pointed the bone at him. Bunji’s unexpected survival astounds the region’s tribes. Years later, during his kippa (manhood) trials, a second shadow appears to follow him. Then, eerie dreams and whispers from the south come to him. Nothing makes sense until one day, Bunji receives an ominous invitation to the nearby island of Yarun.
Three ghosts have apparently returned from the dead…
In 1768, James Cook, newly promoted to Lieutenant, replaces the highly esteemed Alexander Dalrymple as Commander of HMB Endeavour. Following secret Admiralty orders, Cook searches for the mythical Unknown Southern Land. Encountering Australia, he charts its eastern coastline but misses Moreton Bay (including Turrbal country and its river). Faithfully following Lord Morton’s advice, Cook does not take possession of the land when he leaves. But on the streets of Batavia, he learns of a dreadful turn of events and is forced to change the course of Australia’s fate forever.
This meticulously researched novel reveals a fascinating society and a startling turn of events in Australia’s history that few know about.
Synopsis for The Last Gundir Book II: Wrong Side
It is 1824 and the Turrbal (Brisbane) tribe are accused by the Dalla of murdering two of their men. But just as a fight is arranged to determine guilt, a stranger with mysterious tribal marks is seen in the area. Then canoes go missing, fish traps are sabotaged and a terrifying shadow menaces the tribe. A dark secret from someone’s past has returned with dreadful consequences.
To understand the meaning of vague foreshadowing dreams, Bunji travels to Jinibara country. The sacred swamp at Buruja leaks clues on the nature of the ghosts building huts at Kau-In Kau-In (Redcliffe) as well as an imminent threat to a Turrbal individual. But the swamp reveals a little too much on Bunji’s past and on his dark future.
On the opposite side of the world, Rebecca Hendry grows up in a poor family in east London. A promising career as a seamstress beckons. But an encounter with a drunk woman takes her life onto a different path altogether. And she wonders whether the perplexing dreams from her childhood are actually omens of ill events in a distant land.
In 2017, NAYEF DIN was presented with an award from the Turrbal people for his role in raising awareness of Aboriginal culture in Brisbane.