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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2021 ABIA Audiobook of the Year

A powerful memoir of a true Australian legend: stolen child, musical and lyrical genius, and leader.

Not many have lived as many lives as Archie Roach - stolen child, seeker, teenage alcoholic, lover, father, musical and lyrical genius, and leader - but it took him almost a lifetime to find out who he really was.

Roach was only two years old when he was forcibly removed from his family. Brought up by a series of foster parents until his early teens, his world imploded when he received a letter that spoke of a life he had no memory of.

In this intimate, moving and often shocking memoir, Archie’s story is an extraordinary odyssey through love and heartbreak, family and community, survival and renewal - and the healing power of music. Overcoming enormous odds to find his story and his people, Archie voices the joy, pain and hope he found on his path through song to become the legendary singer-songwriter and storyteller that he is today - beloved by fans worldwide.

Tell Me Why is a stunning account of resilience and the strength of spirit - and of a great love story.

Winner of the 2020 Indie Book of the Year Non-Fiction
Winner of the 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing
Shortlisted for the 2020 ABIA Biography Book of the Year
Shortlisted for the 2020 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, Non-Fiction
Shortlisted for the Booksellers' Choice 2020 Book of the Year Awards, Non-Fiction 
Archie Roach was the 2020 VIC Australian of the Year

"Tell Me Why is an extraordinary odyssey and offering. Archie has come through snares, pits and suffering to bring us an inspiring tale of survival, grace and generosity. This book should be in every school." (Paul Kelly)

"Just like his early songs, Tell Me Why was written with empathy as its impetus and that intent shines through on every page. This is a phenomenal work by one of the most articulate and recognisable members of the Stolen Generations. It will be read, studied and discussed for many years to come." (The Australian)

"Beautiful, gut-wrenching and compelling memoir." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Archie’s deeply resonant voice sings out – of a broken country and a life renewed. The voice of Australia." (Daniel Browning, ABC journalist and producer)

"Roach is honest and humble in his oft-heartbreaking retelling of his search for identity, belonging and purpose." (Courier Mail)

"Best book of 2019: Tell Me Why by Archie Roach, a beautifully written autobiography that captures one of the most remarkable lives in Australian music." (Weekend Australia)

©2020 Archie Roach (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Australia

What listeners say about Tell Me Why

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Heart wrenching and beautiful!!!

A story of displacement , culture, land and song, through a proud native man.
Made me cry, laugh and long for more simpler times.. I was taken away with the deep tone and strength in Archies voice. The deep sadness and displacement of native people's from all lands told through words and song will stay with me forever, but in Archies words I will live my best life and be guided by love! Words can't express how much this touched my soul. I want to share his story with everyone I know.

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Archie's gift to us all

I always cry when I listen to Archie Roach sing. And as I listened to him tell his story in his own voice I cried more than a few times. In the end his message is to all of us, it is full of love and hope. A truly remarkable human ❤️💛🖤

3 people found this helpful

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Great Story

This is the first Audio book i have ever listened to. It was an emotional ride. I loved hearing Archie tell his story. Hearing it in his voice made me feel like we were sitting down having a yarn. Thank you

3 people found this helpful

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Must read

This book takes the same form as all other books but has such a power that only very few have.
I suggest also buying the hardcover which I did and follow along as Archie Roach takes you on a journey.

3 people found this helpful

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A must read when you think White Australia did the right thing

Archie is inspiring . How he found his roots and overcame adversity. Loved listening to his voice and his songs.Opened my eyes to the truth about how badly his people have been treated.

2 people found this helpful

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Deeply moving

This was such a humble and moving book. I loved the narration being by the author, it was straight from the heart. Would definitely listen to or read again.

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Profound

A heartbreaking and healing story. Archie’s tells the story of being part of the Australian Aboriginal stolen generation, unmasking the pain, confusion, loss of identity and family. The repercussions this had for him, his people and the generations still to this day. Talking about loss of connection to his people and land with honesty, integrity and the insight of age. Love, addiction, music.
It provides insight into a chapter of Australia’s history that is deliberately kept out of sight (or at least was when I was at school). Highly recommend this book.

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An earthy account of a soulful life

Archie Roach has lived a hard and beautiful life. His account of his journey gives insight into the suffering of others without vilification of innocent/ignorant parties. His words of spirituality and love are relatable to all. Thank you for sharing your story.

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Archie Roach

Well done Archie Roach!!! Thank you for sharing your life. Very inspiring and it needs to be said.

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Wow, I love this book

I have loved listening to this book. I have smiled, laughed, cried and been absolutely amazed at the story telling as well.
I think this is one book that is a must via audiobook as you get some of Archie's amazing music and his very matter of fact story telling.

I have tickets to a show (postponed now due to Covid19) and I'm so glad I got to hear about his life before going. It will make
the concert all the more special and I will have more knowledge about how each song came to be.

I have seen him perform in Melbourne at Federation Square before and the audience were in tears when he sang they took the children away. That is how i felt listening to some of his story, especially about the stolen generation. I would highly recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sudi de Winter
  • 21-08-2020

Outstanding

An incredible story told by a beautiful man. An important read for every Australian. Thank you Archie.

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  • Dan
  • 22-02-2021

Insightful. Thank you Archie.

Such a sad history.
Brought home an unimaginable trauma. I feel compelled to pay my respect by supporting indigenous causes.

1 person found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.