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Carpentaria

520 pages
Paperback, 19.7 x 13 cm
Published August 2006
ISBN 1920882170
Epdf ISBN 9781922146052

Carpentaria

Alexis Wright

Winner, Miles Franklin Literary Award
Winner, ALS Gold Medal
Winner, Queensland Premier’s Literary Award
Winner, Victorian Premier’s Literary Award

Carpentaria is an epic of the Gulf country of north-western Queensland. Its 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 2007 on the one hand, and the white officials of Uptown and the neighbouring Gurfurrit mine on the other. Wright’s storytelling is operatic and surreal: a blend of myth and scripture, politics and farce. The novel teems with extraordinary characters – the outcast saviour Elias Smith, the religious zealot Mozzie Fishman, the murderous mayor Bruiser, the moth-ridden Captain Nicoli Finn, the activist Will Phantom, and above all, the rulers of the family, the queen of the rubbish-dump and the fish-embalming king of time, Angel Day and Normal Phantom – figures of such an intense imagining, they stand like giants in this storm-swept world.

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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Reviews

a swelling, heaving tsunami of a novel: stinging, sinuous, salted with outrageous humour, sweetened by spiralling lyricism and swaggering with the confident promise of a tale dominated by risk, roguery and revelation

Michelle Grossman, The Australian
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