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736 pages
Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm
Published April 2023
ISBN 9781922725325


Alexis Wright

This product is the paperback edition of Praiseworthy. There is a hardcover edition available here.

Praiseworthy can be ordered as part of a set, with a special offer on the three Alexis Wright fiction books out in 2023.

The new novel from the internationally acclaimed, award-winning Australian author Alexis Wright.

Praiseworthy is an epic set in the north of Australia, told with the richness of language and scale of imagery for which Alexis Wright has become renowned. In a small town dominated by a haze cloud, which heralds both an ecological catastrophe and a gathering of the ancestors, a crazed visionary seeks out donkeys as the solution to the global climate crisis and the economic dependency of the Aboriginal people. His wife seeks solace from his madness in following the dance of butterflies and scouring the internet to find out how she can seek repatriation for her Aboriginal/Chinese family to China. One of their sons, called Aboriginal Sovereignty, is determined to commit suicide. The other, Tommyhawk, wishes his brother dead so that he can pursue his dream of becoming white and powerful. This is a novel which pushes allegory and language to its limits, a cry of outrage against oppression and disadvantage, and a fable for the end of days.

The writing is the best in the country, some of the best in the world; we call to mind Alexis Wright when they talk about our country’s great literary voice.
Tara June Winch

I’m awed by the range, experiment and political intelligence of [Alexis Wright’s] work…she is vital on the subject of land and people.
Robert Macfarlane, The New York Times Book Review

Monumental…Praiseworthy blew me away…If you think you know what assimilation is, you should read Praiseworthy and think again.
Tony Hughes-d’Aeth, Australian Book Review

An abundant odyssey that contains a formidable vision of Australia’s future. This is a long journey through the imagination, a novel both urgent and deeply contemplated…The rich interrelations of ancestral spirits, larger-than-life characters, and Country all derive from the Aboriginal traditions of storytelling. But there are also signs of literary influence from every compass point on the map, including, most notably, the surrealism and magic realism of writers such as Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Jack Cameron Stanton, The Age 

Praiseworthy is Alexis Wright’s most formidable act of imaginative synthesis yet…a hero’s journey for an age of global warming, a devastating story of young love caught between two laws, and an extended elegy and ode to Aboriginal law and sovereignty.
Jane Gleeson-White, The Conversation

There are few books in Australian literature more epic than Praiseworthy and few books as dense with poetry.
Claire G. Coleman, The Saturday Paper

Wright has already proved herself one of Australia’s deepest and most urgent thinkers. In her new novel Praiseworthy, she synthesises the themes and forms of her past work – including Carpentaria, The Swan Book and Tracker – and arrives at a furious and dense epic satirising white Australia’s ongoing attacks on the colonised.Steph Harmon, Guardian Australia

A literary feat deeply concerned with issues of sovereignty, colonisation and climate change…timely and urgent, complex and absorbing, [Praiseworthy is] a book that demands, and captures, its readers’ full attention.
West Australian

Like opera, Wright’s writing operates in many modes, not just satirical, but comedic, lyrical, absurd, a lament, a screed, a manifesto, and often within paragraphs or even sentences that wind on like the lines of migrating butterflies that flit through the novel…It is one of the most exhilarating reading experiences I can imagine.
James Whitmore, The Library is Open

Praiseworthy is classic Wright: a book made of beautiful, mutable and playful language…These seven hundred-odd pages are chock full of stunning, exhilarating sentences that lead you around by the nose, taking you to some very unexpected places. Wright stretches sentences to their limits; when you think you’re over one sentence, sick of it even, you land on the most satisfying note.
Mykaela Saunders, Sydney Review of Books

About the Author

Alexis Wright

Alexis Wright is a member of the Waanyi nation of the southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The author of the prize-winning novels Carpentaria and The Swan Book, Wright has published three works of non-fiction: Take Power, an oral history of the Central Land Council; Grog War, a study of alcohol abuse in the Northern Territory; and Tracker, the Stella Prize-winning collective memoir of Aboriginal leader, Tracker Tilmouth.

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An abundant odyssey that contains a formidable vision of Australia’s future. This is a long journey through the imagination, a novel both urgent and deeply contemplated

The Age

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