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Winner, Stella PrizeSpecial Offer – Reduced From $39.95
Alexis Wright returns to non-fiction in her new book, a collective memoir of the charismatic Aboriginal leader, political thinker and entrepreneur Tracker Tilmouth, who died in Darwin in 2015 at the age of 62.
Taken from his family as a child and brought up in a mission on Croker Island, Tracker Tilmouth worked tirelessly for Aboriginal self-determination, creating opportunities for land use and economic development in his many roles, including Director of the Central Land Council of the Northern Territory.
Tracker was a visionary, a strategist and a projector of ideas, renowned for his irreverent humour and his determination to tell things the way he saw them. Having known him for many years, Alexis Wright interviewed Tracker, along with family, friends, colleagues, and the politicians he influenced, weaving his and their stories together in a manner reminiscent of the work of Nobel Prize–winning author Svetlana Alexievich. The book is as much a testament to the powerful role played by storytelling in contemporary Aboriginal life as it is to the legacy of an extraordinary man.
A magnificent work of collaborative storytelling. The Age
A unique, majestic biography. It is one man’s story told by many voices, almost operatic in scale…the book sings with insight and Tracker’s unique humour.Stella Prize citation
Wright builds, as much as anyone is able to in writing, a detailed portrait of a complex man, whose vision “to sculpt land, country and people into a brilliant future on a grand scale” is inevitably accompanied by an irrepressible humour and suspicion of authority.The Guardian
Tilmouth was a man who worked through conversation and yarn more than with paper and pen, and this is a book about the place of the story in Indigenous culture and politics as much as it is about Tracker himself. The Monthly
enacts the complex relationship between self and community that a Western biography could not…There is a cumulative power in the repetitions, backtrackings and digressions the formula necessitates: a sinuous, elegant accommodation of selves. It is a book as epical in form and ambition as the life it describes.’ The Australian
Wright’s brace of ineffable, awkward, uncanny novels will be unravelled and enjoyed by readers when other contemporary fiction is forgotten. Tracker, a book performed by a folk ensemble rather than a solo virtuoso, adds to her enduring non-fiction oeuvre that captures the unique ground-level realpolitik of Aboriginal Australia. Australian Book Review
Alexis Wright is one of the most important voices in our literary landscape…This is a landmark work – epic in its scope and empathy.Readings
It paints a vision of action and possibility for this continent that makes it required reading for all Australians and all those interested in this land.Jane Gleeson-White, Sydney Morning Herald