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Hachette Australia acquires Winnie Dunn's debut novel

24 January 2023

Hachette Australia acquires Winnie Dunn's debut novel

Hachette Australia is very proud to announce Hachette’s acquisition of World rights to the talented writer and editor Winnie Dunn’s debut novel, Dirt Poor Islanders.

Dirt Poor Islanders is a powerful, insightful and provocative debut novel that explores growing up in a blended Tongan family in Western Sydney and the challenge of finding a way to be true to yourself and your roots without ignoring where you have come from or denying where you want to go. Her unique writing craft powerfully mirrors the story as she blends ancient Pacific oral storytelling traditions, such as talanoa, with modern Western Sydney vernacular.

Hachette Australia Head of Literary, Vanessa Radnidge: ‘Winnie Dunn is an exciting emerging talent and I can’t wait to share Winnie’s novel with readers. This is powerful autobiographical fiction that gives insight into being a Tongan and Australian woman in a white-dominated culture and learning to find your own voice when tradition, culture and poverty work against you being your authentic self. It will show that racism can be addressed when we acknowledge our shared humanity but the struggles and fractures of growing up between two cultures are not easily navigated’.

Fiona Hazard said: ‘It is important that Australian publishers publish and promote diverse stories if we truly want our literature to reflect who we really are and not just a snapshot of a privileged few. Hachette are committed to nurturing and promoting diverse literature and see Winnie Dunn’s novel as an important work for Australian readers.

Winnie Dunn said: ‘I am humbled and honoured to be working with Hachette Australia on my debut novel. To be able to reveal a unique and complicated experience of being Tongan in Australia is a responsibility I take very seriously, especially considering how the Pasifika community is continuously overlooked and stereotyped. I look forward to adding my voice to the roster of excellent Hachette writers such as Nardi Simpson, Sonny Bill Williams, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Michelle Cahill and more.’

Winnie is already making waves in the Australian literary community and her work as an editor and general manager of Sweatshop Literacy Movement has seen her already support many emerging writers in a mentoring role. Winnie is the editor of several critically acclaimed anthologies, and she is also the editor of Another Australia (Affirm Press, 2022). Winnie’s work ethic and talent are undeniable and her debut novel will announce an important voice in the Australian literary landscape.

Winnie Dunn is the General Manager of Sweatshop Literacy Movement and the editor of several critically acclaimed anthologies, including Another Australia (Affirm Press, 2022). She is a writer of Tongan descent from Mount Druitt and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Sydney University. Her work has been published in The Guardian, HuffPost Australia, Griffith Review, Meanjin and SBS Voices. Winnie is currently completing her debut novel, Dirt Poor Islanders (Hachette, 2024), which has been assisted by the Australia Council for the Arts.

Dirt Poor Islanders will be published in trade paperback, ebook and audio in 2024.

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