Carpentaria by Alexis Wright
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By Alexis Wright


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Format: Paperback

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Carpentaria by Alexis Wright

Book Awards

  • Winner of Victorian Premier's Literary Award - Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction 2007.
  • Winner of Miles Franklin Literary Award 2007.
  • Winner of Australian Literature Society Gold Medal 2007.
  • Shortlisted for Victorian Premier's Literary Award 2007.
  • Shortlisted for Queensland Premier's Literary Awards: Best Fiction Book 2007.

Book Description

An epic set in the Gulf country of north-western Queensland, from where her people come. The novel's portrait of life in the precariously settled coastal town of Desperance centres on the powerful Phantom family, leader of the Westend Pricklebush people, and its battles with old Joseph Midnight's renegade Eastend mob on the one hand, and the white officials of Uptown and the neighbouring Gurfurrit mine on the other. The novel teems with extraordinary characters - Elias Smith the outcast saviour, the religious zealot Mozzie Fishman, the murderous mayor Stan Bruiser, the moth-ridden Captain Nicoli Finn, the activist and prodigal son Will Phantom, and above all, the queen of the rubbish-dump Angel Day and her seafaring husband Normal Phantom, the fish-embalming king of time - figures that stride like giants across this storm-swept world.

Buy Carpentaria book by Alexis Wright from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9781920882174
ISBN-10: 1920882170
Format: Paperback
Pages: 516
Imprint: Giramondo Publishing Co
Publisher: Giramondo Publishing Co
Publish Date: 1-Aug-2006
Country of Publication: Australia

Other Editions...

Books By Author Alexis Wright

Grog War by Alexis Wright Grog War, Paperback (November 2009)

Miles Franklin award winner Alexis Wright describes the shocking effects of alcohol abuse and racism in this vivid portrayal of a small town in Northern Australia fighting to bring about change. Aboriginal elders and community advisors fought for years to put alcohol restrictions in place. Should alcohol be restricted? Whose decision is it to make?

Fear, Prejudice, Tolerance by Alexis Wright Fear, Prejudice, Tolerance, Paperback (May 2008)

In early 2007, Sydney PEN commissioned the 3 Writers Project, a series of essays and public lectures in which three of our leading and acclaimed writers - Alexis Wright, Gideon Haigh and Christos Tsiolkas - tackled topics of vital importance to contemporary Australia: tolerance, prejudice and fear.

» View all books by Alexis Wright


US Kirkus Review » A dreamlike novel from Australian aboriginal author Wright of a dreamtime interrupted as Australian native peoples meet industrial civilization.If you can call it civilization, that is. Perched on the infernally hot salt flats of northern Queensland, at some distance from a sluggish river full of mud and "serpents and fish in the monsoon season," is a waterless port town named Desperance, the center of Wright's stately epic. Around Desperance - waterless so long that no one can remember when it stood near water - snakes a ring of aboriginal encampments, each a little more desperate than the next. In one lives a suggestively named old man, Normal Phantom, wise but somewhat feckless, given to making pronouncements in the voice of "a presidential Captain Hook." Inside another camp are the Eastend boys, ne'er-do-wells deluxe, who have their difficulties with the neighbors. After all, as the narrator quietly observes, this idea that people should live in harmony "was a policy designed by the invader's governments," and not really anything inherent in human nature. Among these " 'edge' people, all of the blackfella mob living with quiet breathing in higgily-piggerly, rubbish-dump trash shacks," rivalries unfold, difficulties ensue and untoward events multiply. Imagine Gabriel Garc'a Marquez's fictional town Macondo set on dustier ground and with considerably more magic - and aboriginal mythology - worked into the magical realism, and you have some approximation of Wright's fluent tale, in which not much happens but a large cast of memorable characters are allowed to show themselves: a Bible-thumper, a psychopath whose motto is "Hit first, talk later," some quirky types and some just plain normal folk. Wright, a member of the Waanyi people, turns in stretches of mixed-language patois that is a pleasure but sometimes a challenge to follow ("Big cyclone coming, boy, everybody barrba, jayi, yurrngi-jbangka - you better come with us") as the tale winds its way to the end.A latter-day epic that speaks, lyrically, to the realities and aspirations of aboriginal life. (Kirkus Reviews)

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