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y separately published work icon Grog War single work   prose  
Issue Details: First known date: 1997... 1997 Grog War
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Miles Franklin award-winning author Alexis Wright describes how a remote town in Australia dealt with the invasion of grog on their traditional lands. Wright describes the shocking effects of alcohol abuse and racism in this vivid portrayal of a small town fighting to bring about change.

'Wright was commissioned by the Julalikari Council of Tennant Creek to write Grog War to document the enormous struggle it took to introduce some simple restrictions on alcohol in the town. Wright's account of what happened over 10 years ago in the remote town of Tennant Creek is now repeating itself throughout north west Australia.

'It is a controversial conversation. Should alcohol be restricted? Is this racist? Whose decision is it to make? With towns such as Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing putting alcohol restrictions in place with the backing and support of key community members, Wright's story is more relevant than ever.

'Aboriginal elders and community advisors fought for years to put alcohol restrictions in place and they are still fighting. Their courage and tenacity is an inspiration for other towns in northern Australia who are battling against the tide of alcohol abuse and resistance from licencees and the broader community.' (From the publisher's website.)

Notes

  • 'In Grog War, Alexis Wright sets up a fictional family against the true background of the campaign against grog in the Tennant Creek Aboriginal community.' (Dianne Dempsey, 'Off the Shelf: Society', Age (23 January 2010): 26)
  • Dedication: A book dedicated to the achievements of the traditional Aboriginal elders of Tennant Creek in their war against grog, and to our children and yours.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Other Formats

  • Also e-book.
  • Also large print.

Works about this Work

Richard Flanagan's and Alexis Wright's Magic Nihilism Jamie Derkenne , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 31 no. 2 2017; (p. 276-290, 458)

'Whether it be Sir John Franklin confronting a "sense of his own horror" while hallucinating and dying in Flanagan's Wanting (177), Oblivia, mute and with no agency, possessed only of memories that Bella Donna "has chosen to tell her" in Wright's Swan Book (89) and ending her days in a ghost swamp (334), or Aljaz Cosini finding himself in a "gorge of death" because he has ignored the "language" of the landscape in Flanagan's Death of a River Guide (296-97), both authors write of an erosion of being and purpose, often using landscape and the history inscribed on that landscape to describe existential crisis. Magic realism, even its constituent words, has little relation with what Franz Roh proposed in his seminal 1925 essay on a new form of painting: the term has not only shifted its main focus from one artistic endeavor to another but has often features of surrealism or what Roh (dismissively) called "Expressionism," a term he used to explicitly label Marc Chagall's modernist work, characterized as including animals walking in the sky, heads "popped like corks," "chromatic storms," and distortions of perspective (Faris 17). Wright's dream of a common spirituality of reconciliation, also expressed in interview, also has resonances with Fuentes's belief (33) that all Mexicans need to recognize that Indians are intrinsically part of their culture, their identity and heritage, and must therefore work to ensure justice for that population. [...]the invading colonial culture was initially penal, brutalizing, and authoritative and indeed sought to make the entire landscape an unescapable and perfect prison.' (Publication abstract)

My Intervention (in Cowdy) Phillip Hall , 2015 single work autobiography
— Appears in: Cordite Poetry Review , 1 February no. 49.0 2015;
Off the Shelf : Society Dianne Dempsey , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 23 January 2010; (p. 26)

— Review of Grog War Alexis Wright , 1997 single work prose
Dreaming of her Homeland Todd Condie , 1997 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 27 August no. 158 1997; (p. 16)
The Terrible Toll of Grog Highlighted 1997 single work review
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 13 August no. 157 1997; (p. 22)

— Review of Grog War Alexis Wright , 1997 single work prose
Off the Shelf : Society Dianne Dempsey , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 23 January 2010; (p. 26)

— Review of Grog War Alexis Wright , 1997 single work prose
The Terrible Toll of Grog Highlighted 1997 single work review
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 13 August no. 157 1997; (p. 22)

— Review of Grog War Alexis Wright , 1997 single work prose
Dreaming of her Homeland Todd Condie , 1997 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 27 August no. 158 1997; (p. 16)
My Intervention (in Cowdy) Phillip Hall , 2015 single work autobiography
— Appears in: Cordite Poetry Review , 1 February no. 49.0 2015;
Richard Flanagan's and Alexis Wright's Magic Nihilism Jamie Derkenne , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 31 no. 2 2017; (p. 276-290, 458)

'Whether it be Sir John Franklin confronting a "sense of his own horror" while hallucinating and dying in Flanagan's Wanting (177), Oblivia, mute and with no agency, possessed only of memories that Bella Donna "has chosen to tell her" in Wright's Swan Book (89) and ending her days in a ghost swamp (334), or Aljaz Cosini finding himself in a "gorge of death" because he has ignored the "language" of the landscape in Flanagan's Death of a River Guide (296-97), both authors write of an erosion of being and purpose, often using landscape and the history inscribed on that landscape to describe existential crisis. Magic realism, even its constituent words, has little relation with what Franz Roh proposed in his seminal 1925 essay on a new form of painting: the term has not only shifted its main focus from one artistic endeavor to another but has often features of surrealism or what Roh (dismissively) called "Expressionism," a term he used to explicitly label Marc Chagall's modernist work, characterized as including animals walking in the sky, heads "popped like corks," "chromatic storms," and distortions of perspective (Faris 17). Wright's dream of a common spirituality of reconciliation, also expressed in interview, also has resonances with Fuentes's belief (33) that all Mexicans need to recognize that Indians are intrinsically part of their culture, their identity and heritage, and must therefore work to ensure justice for that population. [...]the invading colonial culture was initially penal, brutalizing, and authoritative and indeed sought to make the entire landscape an unescapable and perfect prison.' (Publication abstract)

Last amended 3 Jun 2015 08:44:15
Subjects:
  • Tennant Creek, Mataranka - Tennant Creek area, Central Northern Territory, Northern Territory,
  • 1990s
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