Steeped in myth and magical realism, Wright’s hypnotic storytelling exposes the heartbreaking realities of Aboriginal life. Carpentaria teems with extraordinary, larger-than-life characters who transcend their circumstances and challenge assumptions about the downtrodden "other." The novel "bursts with life" (Daily Telegraph) as Alexis Wright re-creates the land and its people with mysticism, stark reality, and pointed imagination.
Reading Group Guide
In the sparsely populated northern Queensland town of Desperance, loyalties run deep and battle lines have been drawn—between the powerful Phantom family, leaders of the Westend Pricklebush people, and Joseph Midnight’s renegade Eastsend mob—and their disputes with the white citizens of the neighboring towns. When the Gurfurrit mine moves in, making uneasy alliances to support its ownership of the region’s land and rich mineral resources, it aggravates an already complex relationship between Uptown whitefolk and Pricklebush Aboriginals. Trapped between politics and principle, past and present, the indigenous tribes fight to protect their natural resources, sacred sites, and above all, their people. From outcast savior Elias Smith, religious zealot Mozzie Fishman, murderous mayor Bruiser, queen-like Angel Day, to activist Will Phantom and ruler of the family, Normal Phantom, the characters of Carpenteria transcend their circumstances and challenge assumptions about the downtrodden “other.”