'An unnamed man, M, arrives at a remote house on the fringe of a vast wilderness and soon disappears into a world of silence and stillness. His one mission: to find the last thylacine, the fabled Tasmanian tiger. She is said to have passed into myth but a sighting has been reported... Uncompromising and compelling, Julia Leigh's stunning first novel does not give up any of its secrets easily. The Hunter is a haunting tale of obsession that builds to an unforgettable conclusion.'
Source: Libraries Australia (Sighted 18/03/2011).
'While on his mission, the hunter lodges with a grief-ridden family of outcasts whose father has mysteriously vanished after sighting the Thylacine. The hunter succumbs more than he'd like to the family's scant charms and when tragedy strikes has to further purge his psyche to focus upon his elusive quarry. There is something tantalizing at large here as well as the mythical beast in this soul-stalking story about a group of doomed creatures whose unfortunate extinction is never really in doubt.' - Reviewed by Chris Packham, naturalist and broadcaster
Source: British Union Catalogue http://copac.ac.uk/search?rn=3&au=leigh&ti=hunter (Sighted 14/10/2011)
'What can an environment do? And what does it mean for us, as human beings, to participate in it? While these may not be new questions, our increasing awareness of environmental changes and ecological crisis bring these to the fore. It is fitting then, that the past two decades have seen the rise of literary ecocriticism, as scholars begin to turn their attention beyond the social or individualized context of the human, to the “meta-context” of the greater biosphere (Clark 4). According to Glen Love, ecocriticism provides a “fresh look” at literature as part of a larger project of making sense of ourselves and our “place” by acknowledging physical or material context (11). To this end, unlike other modes of literary/cultural analysis, ecocriticism draws particularly on the science of ecology (Garrard 5). Ecologist Neil Evernden has argued that the humanities should have long ago included nonhuman ecology in their study, as the conception of humans as separate and discrete entities is anthropocentric and arbitrary. He questions rigid species boundaries, and even living–nonliving distinctions, arguing that “there is no such thing as an individual, only an individual-in-context, individual as a component of place, defined by place” (20). In other words, humans and nonhumans alike are not separate from their “environment,” but continuously intermingled with other forces of influence. The more recent development of ecocriticism, which takes “the basic premise of the interrelatedness of a human cultural activity like literature and the natural world that encompasses it” (Love 38) is reminiscent of Evernden’s claims.' (Introduction)
'Kangaroos are the most visible of Australia’s unique animals, but despite their charm and national icon status, Australian writers perpetually kill them off.' (Introduction)
The Thylacine or 'Tasmanian Tiger' today is a well-known and well-loved icon of the Australian world. Although it is probable that the species had already disappeared from mainland Australia by 1788, it was still present in Tasmania when settlement of the island began in 1803. As the colony expanded, this largest surviving carnivorous marsupial came to be seen as such a formidable threat to the pastoral economy that bounty schemes were introduced to eradicate it. Since the last captive thylacine died in 1936, however, it has become a symbol of Australian and more specifically Tasmanian identity. The heraldic crests of several towns in Tasmania feature at least one thylacine as supporter and the State Tasmania has two. It also appears on licence plates and until quite recently graced the labels of the state's best-selling beer.' Nor are all Australians reconciled with the official view that the 'Tassie tiger' should now be considered irreversibly lost. Every year, there are several claimed sightings throughout Australia and thousands of dollars have been put towards the quest for the thylacine, either to try to catch it alive or to clone it back to life using DNA material extracted from museum specimens. Tourist shops cater to thylacine nostalgia by selling T-shirts, magnets, and key-rings adorned with tigers and the caption 'I want to believe' as well as mugs and caps that simply read: 'I'm alive'. Such a reversal in the perceptions of the thylacine, from colonist's bane to national icon and naturalist's grail constitutes a striking example of the complex and contradictory uses mythical constructions of otherness have been put to in settler communities.' (Introduction)