Alexis Wright / Mar 31, 2020

Carpentaria Hailed as a literary sensation by The New York Times Book Review Carpentaria is the luminous award winning novel by Australian Aboriginal writer and activist Alexis Wright Alexis Wright employs mysti

  • Title: Carpentaria
  • Author: Alexis Wright
  • ISBN: 1920882176
  • Page: 243
  • Format: Paperback
  • Hailed as a literary sensation by The New York Times Book Review, Carpentaria is the luminous award winning novel by Australian Aboriginal writer and activist Alexis Wright.Alexis Wright employs mysticism, stark reality, and pointed imagination to re create the land and the Aboriginal people of Carpentaria In the sparsely populated northern Queensland town of DesperanceHailed as a literary sensation by The New York Times Book Review, Carpentaria is the luminous award winning novel by Australian Aboriginal writer and activist Alexis Wright.Alexis Wright employs mysticism, stark reality, and pointed imagination to re create the land and the Aboriginal people of Carpentaria 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 Eastend mob, and their disputes with the white officials of neighboring towns Steeped in myth and magical realism, Wright s hypnotic storytelling exposes the heartbreaking realities of Aboriginal life By turns operatic and everyday, surreal and sensational, the novel teems with extraordinary, larger than life characters From the outcast savior Elias Smith, religious zealot Mossie Fishman, and murderous mayor Bruiser to activist Will Phantom and Normal Phantom, ruler of the family, these unforgettable characters transcend their circumstances and challenge assumptions about the downtrodden other Trapped between politics and principle, past and present, the indigenous tribes fight to protect their natural resources, sacred sites, and above all, their people Already an international bestseller, Carpentaria has garnered praise from around the world.

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      Published :2019-09-19T02:12:33+00:00

    About "Alexis Wright"

      • Alexis Wright

        Alexis Wright is from the Waanji people from the highlands of the southern Gulf of Carpentaria Her acclaimed first novel Plains of Promise was published in 1997 by University of Queensland Press and was shortlisted in the Commonwealth Writers Prize, The Age Book of the Year, and the NSW Premier s Awards The novel has been translated into French.Alexis has published award winning short stories and her other books are the anthology Take Power Jukurrpa Books, l998 , celebrating 20 years of land rights in Central Australia and Grog War Magabala,1997 , an examination of the alcohol restrictions in Tennant Creek.Her latest novel, Carpentaria was published by Giramondo in 2006 An epic set in the Gulf country of north western Queensland, from where her people come, the novel tells of life in the precariously settled coastal town of Desperance In 2007 Carpentaria won the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal, Victorian Premier s Literary Awards, the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction, Queensland Premier s Literary Awards, Best Fiction Book, and the Australian Book Industry Awards ABIA , Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year.Biographical information from the Australia Council website.


    1. Carpentaria is an aboriginal epic; it’s a soaring story full of imagination that gives voice to Australia’s Indigenous population, though it is also horribly uncomfortable to read and even harder to enjoy. Alexis Wright works directly with oral tradition, with folktale and myth, to interpose her narrative with as much authenticity as possible; she brings tribal legends into the modern space, asserting how important such things are to the remaining members of the civilisations that were almos [...]

    2. Onvan : Carpentaria - Nevisande : Alexis Wright - ISBN : 1920882176 - ISBN13 : - Dar 520 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2006

    3. (view spoiler)[Bettie's BooksThe shelving, status update and star rating constitute how I felt about this book. (hide spoiler)]

    4. I urge everybody to read this staggering book which is IMHO a work of immortal genius.Seriously, it’s huge. When I think of authors whose books can barely contain the hugeness of what is inside them, I think of Dostoyevsky, Mishima and Ihimaera. And now we in Australia have the precious gift of Alexis Wright.This is it. Forget about Baz Luhrmann. “Carpentaria” is the Great Australian Novel; the epic of our time. It isn’t a small book, or an easy read. You can’t get through it, for exam [...]

    5. I can see why Carpentaria won a Miles Franklin Award. It is a big book which tells an important story in a manner likely to be novel to many readers. On its face, Carpentaria is the story of a town, Desperance, on the Gulf of Carpentaria, giving the reader an insight into tensions within the Aboriginal communities on the outskirts of the town and between them and the white people who live in the town itself. Underneath that, and far more importantly, it is a story about family, Country and Cultu [...]

    6. I didn't understand much of what I read in this book - so my 'two star' rating isn't really a judgment on the quality of the novel, but on how much I enjoyed it, and how much I, personally, could piece together. I imagine if you're a literary sort, you could mine this deliciously for all kinds of repeated metaphor and thematics and meaning. I mostly spent the read going, "what is going on?"In the largest terms, this is a book about the Aboriginal spirits of Australia being mightier than the work [...]

    7. "One evening in the driest grasses in the world, a child who was no stranger to her people, asked if anyone could find hope. The people of parable and prophecy pondered what was hopeless and finally declared they no longer knew what hope was. The clocks, tick-a-ty tock, looked as though they might run out of time. Luckily, the ghosts in the memories of the old folk were listening, and said anyone can find hope in the stories: the big stories and the little ones in between."Carpentaria is a stunn [...]

    8. Subject Terms, from my library's database: Aboriginal Australians -- Fiction.Indigenous peoples -- Queensland -- Fiction.Race relations -- Fiction.Eccentrics and eccentricities -- Fiction.Mines and mineral resources -- Fiction.Carpentaria is kind of One Hundred Years of Solitude for people who hated One Hundred Years of Solitude (so: me, I hated it, come at me). I mean, people who like Marquez will also probably like this book, although it's not totally boring so maybe they won't. (Sorry, sorry. [...]

    9. “Carpentaria” is an incredible novel. The second fictional work from Alexis Wright, it deals with sweeping issues such as the clash of cultures in Australia, the different goals and focuses of whites vs. those of the native Aboriginals; and does so by looking at just one small imaginary town which the author calls Desperance which is located on the very real Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland. The relations between black and white Australia play out on the small stage of Desperance, often in [...]

    10. wow.To start with, this book took me nearly two weeks to read, which is about four times longer than I expect to spend on a book. So the thing is not a page turner. In many places it has almost dream like, hypnotic flavour. So many times I found myself paging back to try and work out if what I was reading was straightforward narrative, someone's imaginings, a dream perhaps? In as far as this is indicative of a problem, I think the problem was largely with me, habituated as I am to significantly [...]

    11. This book requires a lot of a reader, especially a non-indigenous reader. Being able to understand time as something other than linear is an important example.I will say that I almost switched books after I wasn't really "grabbed" in the first two hundred or so pages. I would find my mind wandering while reading, and when I came back I would discover myself in a scene which was either a flashback, a fever dream, a legend, or an actual current event - it was hard to recognize which if you weren't [...]

    12. I need way more time to digest but this book is extraordinary. I've never before read anything that so effectively conveys an experience of living across two cultures. A lot of it was hard for me to follow, but I felt like that was part of the point; I was immersed in experiences that were strange and foreign even when they were familiar. It's not an easy read, but it's magnificent.

    13. To be brutally honest, halfway through this book, it was still mostly a chore to read, so I'm a little surprised that I just unhesitatingly selected 5 stars to rate it, but that accurately reflects my journey in reading it. By the last few chapters, I was so thoroughly hooked I couldn't bear the thought of it ending.It is hard to tell how much of that is that I simply enjoyed the much faster pace, clear stakes and emotional punchiness of the second half, and how much it is that Wright's style ta [...]

    14. Carpentaria is set in a small coastal town in Australia, called Desperance. The book follows the people living there, with a focus on the Phantom family, an aboriginal family living on the Westside who is constantly at odds with the Eastside mob (run by Jospeh Midnight), and the white townsmen. There are a lot of things happening in this book, from young men fighting against the mining operations, to the way racism affects investigations in own, to the traditional stories and knowledge that Norm [...]

    15. IT took me a while to get into and understand Wright's style. She flicks from reality, to dreaming, to spirituality, and back again. At times I didnt know if I was in a reality bit or a dreaming bit. Once i got into the swing of it all I couldn't put the book down. 518 pages of mostly riveting reading. Set in the Gulf of Carpentaria the novel focuses on a small town and its characters along with the mining industry setting up a new mine in the region; those who want it and those who dont. Wright [...]

    16. True literature. Alexis uses her knowledge and vocab to create a very atmospheric read. I found I had to concentrate and re-read some passages, but this always rewarded by revealing another aspect, layer or word-play. The people of Desperance will linger long in my mind. I will read Carpentaria again!

    17. Beautiful prose and fascinating characters, but the lack of any clear direction really brought this one down for me. Hard to like characters when you have very little idea of what is going on, or how what is happening in one scene relates to any other scene. Hopefully, The Swan Book will offer more direction and a more coherent tale.

    18. Carpentaria is the story of the Pricklebush mob living on the outskirts of the town of Desperance in the Gulf of Carpentaria. It's the story of Norm Phantom, his wife Angel Day and their progeny, particularly Will Phantom. Norm has a deep understanding of his country and the sea, and that gives him what appears to be supernatural powers. His communication and interpretation of the dreamtime allows him to navigate and thrive off his country like no other. His ability to use star maps, currents, s [...]

    19. God, I hate this book. I can see how others might enjoy it and it's not an Objectively Bad book, but it was basically just everything I don't like in a book, and lacked everything that I personally look for in good novels.The biggest turn-off for me was the characters and their relationships. I don't mind not liking characters, as long as it's fun and rewarding to hate them. These characters were just. I spent 500 pages with them but I still feel like I don't know them at all. And the relationsh [...]

    20. I often read a book in a day, but this book, I struggled to read 50 pages a day as you have to concentrate on every single word. However those words are like poetry; full of beautiful, funny, pathetic break-your-heart descriptions. I've never read a book that comes close to describing day to day lives in a place like Desperance let alone Pricklebush or an author who shows such understanding of indigenous life. I don't know how white people could ever get their heads around how the Indigenous peo [...]

    21. An epic set in NW Qld about a precariously settled coastal town of Desperance and the Normal Phantom family. It chronicles the interpersonal and interracial relationships between the aboriginal people and the white townspeople. Between 3 men, blunt Normal, overzealous Mozzie and Norm's son Will. Conflicts over land rights with the local law, the community, the government and the big multinational mining company. A celebration of aboriginal history and culture prior to white settlement but also a [...]

    22. This is a dense, confusing book that is no good for audio, as brilliant as the narrator is. I loved Angel,the queen of the dump but after one chapter there was no more of her & the story went to a dude lying on the beach. He was mythologized, then he became the town's saviour, then they ran him out of town, all in one chapter, while he's still lying there? I listened to over 5 hours, but I just became bewildered. The last hour was just enjoyment of the narration, he does the voices brilliant [...]

    23. This book is amazing. The plot takes a bit to kick in, but the slow burn build is very effective, and all the "tangents" are an important part of the world-building. Reading this book was like entering a different universe. The style is also unusual: early on I often had to re-read sentences, in an attempt to locate the meaning, or at the very least the verb! Once I got a feel for the language it was smoother going. Definitely worth the effort.

    24. It's been a while since I've read a book where I've regularly thought "What is happening?" and it was delightful because of it. At some points it slows down, at others, it speeds over big plot changes, but I got a sense of the book's time and place, and isn't that the point of reading fiction? If you like Virginia Woolf's work, you'd like Carpentaria.

    25. It was along hard read, but while it didn't grip you enough to not put the book down, it was interesting while reading.

    26. I've not made any progress on this in way too long and would need to start over to remember what happened. I'd like to come back to this one when I've got a bit of time.

    27. For me, Carpentaria is one of the most important Australian books ever written. If every Australian read this novel we would have a far greater appreciation for Aboriginal culture and social issues but also a greater respect for their knowledge of Australia's environment. However, the most important thing I learnt from the book was just how marginalised the first Australians are. Wright said she wrote Carpentaria hoping to bring to light the unending misery in the lives of many Aboriginal people [...]

    28. It's not that this is a bad book, but being a white person from Europe who has absolutely no connection to Australian Aboriginal culture and their struggles, I could not connect to this book at all.

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