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Issue Details: First known date: 2006... 2006 Carpentaria
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Carpentaria's portrait of life in the precariously settled coastal town of Desperance centres on the powerful Phantom family, whose members are the leaders of the Pricklebush people, and their battles with old Joseph Midnight's tearaway Eastend mob 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 is populated by extraordinary characters - Elias Smith the outcast saviour, the religious zealot Mozzie Fishman, leader of the holy Aboriginal pilgrimage, the murderous mayor Stan Bruiser, the ever-vigilant Captain Nicoli Finn, the activist and prodigal son Will Phantom, and above all, Angel Day the queen of the rubbish-dump, and her sea-faring husband Normal Phantom, the fish-embalming king of time - figures that stand like giants in this storm-swept world. (Backcover)

Exhibitions

6692903
9428942
15866155
15826549
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17023670
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Notes

  • Dedication: For Toly.
  • Author's note: Inspired by all of the beauty that comes from having an ancient homeland that is deeply loved by those who guard it, and especially by my countrymen, Murrandoo Yanner and Clarence Waldon.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Artarmon, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Giramondo Publishing , 2006 .
      person or book cover
      Image courtesy of Giramondo Publishing
      Extent: 519p.
      Reprinted: 2012
      Note/s:
      • Published August 1st 2006
      ISBN: 1920882170, 9781920882303 (limited ed. : hbk), 9781920882310 (pbk)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Constable ,
      2008 .
      image of person or book cover 3122706879871186006.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 439p.
      Note/s:
      • Published March 1st 2008
      ISBN: 9781845297213
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Atria Books ,
      2009 .
      image of person or book cover 7196117149774898480.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: x, 517p.
      Edition info: 1st Atria Books hardcover Ed.
      Note/s:
      • Published April 7th 2009
      ISBN: 9781416593102 (hbk.) 1416593101
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Constable ,
      2009 .
      image of person or book cover 3137800868856335974.png
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 501p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 28 May 2009.
      ISBN: 9781845299484 (pbk)
    • New Delhi,
      c
      India,
      c
      South Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
      :
      Navayana Publishing ,
      2015 .
      image of person or book cover 7858399256970702224.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 536p.p.
      Note/s:
      • For sale in South Asia only.
      ISBN: 9788189059699
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Atria Books ,
      2015 .
      image of person or book cover 4151239470290027565.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 333p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published April 27th 2015
      ISBN: 9781501122347 (ebk), 1501122347 (ebk)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Constable ,
      2016 .
      image of person or book cover 1529536207403221750.png
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 1v.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 22 July 2016.
      ISBN: 9781472125453 (ebk)
Alternative title: I cacciatori di stelle
Language: Italian
    • Milan,
      c
      Italy,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Rizzoli ,
      2008 .
      image of person or book cover 7291344916482137700.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 550p.
      ISBN: 9788817023825

Other Formats

  • Sound recording.
  • Braille.
  • Large print.
  • Dyslexic edition.

Works about this Work

y separately published work icon Polities and Poetics : Race Relations and Reconciliation in Australian Literature Adelle Sefton-Rowston , Oxford : Peter Lang , 2022 24390199 2022 multi chapter work criticism

'A reconciliation movement spread across Australia during the 1990s, bringing significant marches, speeches, and policies across the country. Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians began imagining race relations in new ways and articulations of place, belonging, and being together began informing literature of a unique new genre. This book explores the political and poetic paradigms of reconciliation represented in Australian writing of this period. The author brings together textual evidence of themes and a vernacular contributing to the emergent genre of reconciliatory literature. The nexus between resistance and reconciliation is explored as a complex process to understanding sovereignty, colonial history, and the future of society. Moreover, this book argues it is creative writing that is most necessary for a deeper understanding of each other and of place, because it is writing that calls one to witness, to feel, and to imagine all at the same time.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Alexis Wright, Carpentaria Cathie Dunsford , 2022 single work review
— Appears in: Commonwealth : Essays and Studies , vol. 44 no. 2 2022;

— Review of Carpentaria Alexis Wright , 2006 single work novel

'Alexis Wright is a Word Carver whose tattoo, in Carpentaria, recalls ancient ancestral spirit journeys. Not since The Bone People took the world by storm and won its Maori author Keri Hulme [Kai Tahu] the coveted Booker Prize, deservedly, has a book of this magnitude appeared from indigenous Australian/Aotearoan authors that could captivate its readers with the power of Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria. Wright’s first novel, Plains of Promise, was short-listed for the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. Let’s hope that Carpentaria wins it, and many more accolades. Alexis Wright is already known as “one of Australia’s finest indigenous writers”. Her work can stand alongside all their best writers.' (Introduction)

Alexis Wright’s Fiction, Aboriginal Realism, and the Sovereignty of the Indigenous Mind Cornelis Martin Renes , 2022 single work criticism
— Appears in: Commonwealth : Essays and Studies , vol. 44 no. 2 2022;

'The Indigenous Australian author Alexis Wright has developed a novelistic oeuvre that experiments with written forms of fiction, and paints an Aboriginal universe that does not need European epistemology to sustain itself. Rather, it questions western values, certainties, and convictions and problematizes the western way of seeing and doing in the island-continent. Her latest novel, The Swan Book, in manifesting its spiritual and mystical connections to the holistic universe known as the Dreamtime, foregrounds this epistemological turn, which is premised on the ontological relationship Aboriginal people have with “Country,” their traditional land. Alexis Wright’s fiction, which she herself has called an instance of “Aboriginal reality” or “Aboriginal realism,” as opposed to magic realism, is an epic tour de force that juxtaposes the Indigenous and European traditions in startling ways but also speaks across a cultural divide – the discursive gap between colonized and colonizer, belonging and non-belonging, assimilation and sovereignty – which this essay will address.' (Publication abstract)

The Translation and Reception of Alexis Wright’s Fiction in China Li Yao , 2022 single work criticism
— Appears in: Commonwealth : Essays and Studies , vol. 44 no. 2 2022;

'Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria was translated by Li Yao into Chinese in 2012. The following text describes Li Yao’s personal reflections on this translation, the reasons for Carpentaria’s success in China, and connected projects that the translation has led to. Beside promoting Aboriginal literature in China, translating Carpentaria has allowed Li Yao to build connections with Alexis Wright, as well as with fellow academics working in other Chinese universities and Chinese artists living in China and abroad.' (Publication abstract)

Regional Dissensions and the Construction of Locality in Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria Salhia Ben-Messahel , 2022 single work criticism
— Appears in: Commonwealth : Essays and Studies , vol. 44 no. 2 2022;

'This paper analyzes the way in which Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria recreates the space of Indigenous country. Looking at the environment and the focus on locality from a regional perspective, I argue that geographic space is used as a subversive place of reality and history so that Indigeneity is a matter of intersubjective relations (M. Langton) and is constantly conceptualized in a process of dialogue, representation, and imagination. I thus examine the focal positioning of the natural environment to show how the manifestation of place and Dreaming tracks annihilate an imagined colonial reality and tend to reconfigure the postcolonial present.' (Publication abstract)

When the Narrator's Art Matches the Magical Storytelling Alison Ravenscroft , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 19 August 2006; (p. 22)

— Review of Carpentaria Alexis Wright , 2006 single work novel
Calming Influence in Balance Fraught with Pain Peter Pierce , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 2 September 2006; (p. 13)

— Review of Carpentaria Alexis Wright , 2006 single work novel
Phantasmagorical Tale Fills a Legendary Landscape Liam Davison , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 16-17 September 2006; (p. 32-33)

— Review of Carpentaria Alexis Wright , 2006 single work novel
Small-Town Dreaming Katharine England , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 30 September 2006; (p. 10)

— Review of Carpentaria Alexis Wright , 2006 single work novel
A Weird Mob Sally Blakeney , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 10 October vol. 124 no. 6541 2006; (p. 70)

— Review of Carpentaria Alexis Wright , 2006 single work novel
The Call of the Claypans Jane Sullivan , 2006 single work biography
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 9-10 September 2006; (p. 30-31)
From Here to Carpentaria Jane Sullivan , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 9 September 2006; (p. 26-27)
Dispatches from the Reviewing Front ... Stephen Matchett , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , October vol. 1 no. 2 2006; (p. 22)
Matchett comments on reviews of the three books listed here as subjects.
A List Both Short and Sweet James Ley , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28-29 April 2007; (p. 37)
On Writing Carpentaria Alexis Wright , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Heat , no. 13 (New Series) 2007; (p. 79-95) The Canberra Times , 23 June 2007; (p. B4)

Wright describes what drove her to write her novel Carpentaria, stating that 'For a long time while I was exploring how to write Carpentaria, I tried to come to some understanding of two principal questions: firstly, how to understand the idea of Indigenous people living with the stories of all the times of this country, and secondly, how to write from this perspective.'

Last amended 29 Aug 2022 15:31:23
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