'One women's journey from a childhood in Australia's outback to adulthood as a successful American career woman. The Road From Coorain is about Everywoman, for it is about childhood loneliness, anguished parent-child relationships, dawning sensibility, discovering a vocation, and finding one's own sense of self.' (Source: Bunch of Grape Bookstore website)
Adaptation of Jill Ker Conway's The Road from Coorain, focusing on her childhood at a remote sheep station and her secondary and tertiary education in Sydney.
'For the longest time, the Australia I knew was all myth. Early reading didn’t dispel this languid stereotype because part of that upbringing was made possible only by the claustrophobia of the culture itself. It was a narrow existence, filled with outback hardship or romance novels, bush memoirs (how embarrassing that I appear to have done the same thing) and writers from America or worse, England. In short, the authors I knew were not a representative sample of this country. This is not a problem if your range is bigger and broader, but to the extent that my range left my cultural Umwelt at all, it stopped at Not Without My Daughter. Life, then, is about pushing back the borders of our observable universe. Especially when such a quest reveals much about the place we call home.' (Introduction)
'This essay applies ecocriticism, informed by a transnational, settler-colonial theory, to a comparative analysis of texts by three US and three Australian women authors. Through an examination of both “wild” and domestic landscapes, the essay works to establish how these authors manifest the “settler-colonial imaginary” through their glorification of the process of establishing English-style gardens on homesteads founded in territory depicted as an “unland.” The essay reads the insistent use of a “nothing but” construction in descriptions of uncultivated land in both the Australian and US texts as signifying the literary imagining of the “unland” of the colonized territory, a discursive clearing of the land, as it were, to make room for settlement. From there, it proceeds to compare and contrast the different ways in which these texts imagined settlers’ occupation of land as an ecological struggle to wrest an arid or semi-arid landscape into a space amenable for the production of an English garden—the symbol of the settler-colonial project’s ultimate success. It then discusses texts by settler women in both Australia and the United States that imagine settlement in a more ecologically sustainable way, signaling a potential “counter-colonial” gesture of reconciliation with place.' [publisher's summary]