Girt
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About

From the Publisher

Winner of the 2014 Indie Award for Non-Fiction.

Girt. No word could better capture the essence of Australia...

In this hilarious history, David Hunt tells the real story of Australia's past from megafauna to Macquarie … the cock-ups and curiosities, the forgotten eccentrics and Eureka moments that have made us who we are.

Mark Twain wrote of Australian history: 'It does not read like history, but like the most beautiful lies … but they are all true, they all happened.' In Girt, Hunt uncovers these beautiful lies, recounting the strange and ridiculous episodes that conventional histories ignore. The result is surprising, enlightening – and side-splittingly funny.

Girt explains the role of the coconut in Australia's only military coup, the Dutch obsession with nailing perfectly good kitchenware to posts, and the settlers' fear of Pemulwuy and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamingcoat.

It introduces us to forgotten heroes like Mary McLoghlin, transported for the typically Irish crime of 'felony of sock'; Patyegarang, the young Eora girl who co-authored the world's most surprising dictionary; and Trim the cat, who beat a French monkey to become the first animal to circumnavigate Australia.

Our nation's beginnings were steeped in the unlikely, the incongruous and the frankly bizarre. Girt restores these stories to their rightful place. Not to read it would be un-Australian.

Shortlisted for the 2014 ABA Nielsen BookData Bookseller's Choice Award, 2014 NSW Premier's Literary Awards and the 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards.

‘A sneaky, sometimes shocking peek under the dirty rug of Australian history.’ —John Birmingham

‘Hilarious and insightful -- with a keen eye for the absurd, coupled with impeccable comic phrasing, Hunt has found the deep wells of humour in Australia's history. Not since Keith Windschuttle has an historian made me laugh so much.’ —Chris Taylor

‘Australian history never looked like this! Beneath the humour is an interesting analysis backed by extensive research, which has uprooted some little-known historical gems. Girt will appeal to readers who enjoyed John Birmingham’s Leviathan as much as lovers of Chaser-style satire and the humour of John Clarke … and leaves this reader hoping there will be further instalments.’ —Books+Publishing

Girt … cuts an irreverent swath through the facts, fools, fantasies and frauds that made this country what it is today, hoisting sacred cows on their own petards and otherwise sawing the legs off Lady Macquarie’s chair. I was transported.’ —Shane Maloney, the Age Best Books of 2013

‘David Hunt knows how to make the most of history’s juicy bits to hook the reader.’ —the Age

‘… fascinating anomalies and anecdotes that never made the pages of Australia’s official history books … surprising, bizarre and often hilarious.’ —Limelight

‘David Hunt takes aim at some of Australia’s historical sacred cows with his unique brand of irreverent and often profane humour … Beneath the [this] is an interesting analysis backed by extensive research…’ —Bookseller & Publisher

‘There is barely a page in Girt that won’t inspire a chortle. It’s our early history told by a writer with a wit sharp enough to slice tomatoes. But it’s not all jokes and jolly japes. David Hunt has done his research…’ —Herald Sun

Girt is a ripping read… a humorous history that is accessible enough to share with the eight-year-old. Hunt’s writing interests span comedy, politics and history, a happy triumvirate when your subject is Australia.’ —Stephen Romei in the Australian

David Hunt is the author of Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia, which won the 2014 Indie Award for non-fiction and was shortlisted in both the N
Published: Black Inc. Books on
ISBN: 9781922231086
List price: $19.36
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