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Carpentaria

by Alexis Wright

The story of the town of Desperance on the Queensland coast and its inhabitants: white settlers and Aborigines. A challenging and epic read which tells of the serpent which created the rivers, boats beached by typhoons and a fight at the rubbish tip. Despite dealing with racism and dispossession this book is often funny and always highly original.

Extract

His whole being flowed away, rolling in the slight south-east swells which were both familiar and lulling, while he slept. Through his exhausted mind rolled an incoherent jumble of pictures, of guiding stars, sea currents flowing from all points of the compass, crossing the route of the sun. He grabbed from the forest of stars, selecting gliding currents from bundles of spears, and sun rays stacked for choosing as he began plotting, jigsawing bit by bit to form an imaginary nautical map for the journey back to Desperance.

Parallels

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith by Thomas Keneally
Walkabout by James Vance Marshall
 

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