Am I Black Enough For You? is a vibrant, upbeat, restless and often driven account of what it means for at least one person to enjoy life as an indigenous writer.
Michael McGirr, The Sydney Morning Herald
One of the fundamentals about books is how they allow us to see through another’s eyes. In this part memoir, part polemic, part primer on Indigenous Australia, Anita Heiss gives a sharp, funny, moving account of what it’s like to be an educated, urban Aboriginal woman with an Austrian father, and the freight of expectations that come with that. One striking aspect of the book is Heiss’s lack of anger. This is a woman more concerned to educate than to rage, more interested in building bridges than burning them. Throughout she is grateful for the opportunities she has had and the support she has received from her family and others. She shows through her own experiences the strength of the Aboriginal community – from the encouragement she received when she was studying at university, to the teaching and mentoring she has done in turn with young Indigenous students.
Linda Funnell, The Newtown Review of Books
With wisdom, wit and fierce intelligence, Anita Heiss has written a brilliant memoir about what it means to be a black Australian woman in the 21st century. Part family history, part manifesto, this is feisty stuff: brassy, razor sharp and utterly readable.
There are many reasons to like the writing of Anita Heiss. She’s funny in a dry, laconic way, she’s a straight talker – there are no frills here – and she’s passionate about her topic of racial relationships. Dr Heiss’s book is a personal account of being herself in a country that seems obsessed with stereotyping. Heiss’ book is informative, personal and accessible. It serves well as a myth-breaker and also a style of political memoir. Every high school in Australia should be ensuring this book is on its curriculum.
Chris Gordon, Readings
Anita Heiss is a star - she has that degree of brightness, being transparently honest in both thought and emotion. Anyone struggling with the issue of identity can learn from her; so can our nation.
Anita Heiss is undeniably Australia's most prolific Aboriginal writer.In a heart rendering story she describes her journey through the trials and tribulations that only life can bring. Her sense of belonging and love for family and community provide the centrepiece to her successful career in the arts and politics. Heiss' writing and life brand of passion, integrity and humour provide the focus which transcends the often serious educational component of her work. Her books are indeed gifts to all who read them. Anita Heiss you sure are Black Enough For Me.
Dr Jackie Huggins AM FAHA
Anita has artfully woven her personal and family history with recent events questioning the validity of that history with an honesty and bravery worth honouring. Resilience and wit have become the inherent trademarks of Anita's unique style and this book, in many ways, serves as a 'how-to' survival guide for a new generation of Aboriginal thinkers and actors. Black enough? Bloody oath!
Jason Glanville, The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence
In Am I Black Enough For You? Heiss has written an account of a life well-lived but also a life deeply endeared to two very different parts of the world, on polar opposite sides of the planet. Regarding her Aboriginal roots and the future of her people, she speaks with passion, conviction and ... balls. Yes, to the general populace, Anita Heiss may appear ballsy and highly opinionated, but there's no denying the fact that this is a woman whose chest contains an enormouse heart. The greatest social and political changes ever made have been by the voices of the outwardly strong but open of heart.
Tania McCartney, Australian Women Online
Passionate, personal, informative and funny...Her memoir gives a fresh perspective on historical events and culture.
Lizzie Stafford, Sunday Mail, Brisbane
...Well written and researched, meticulously referenced, critical without resorting to insult, humourous without being snide, positive and honest. Memoir can be tricky, but Heiss nails it...
Rudi Maxwell, Koori Mail, Lismore