Set in the precariously settled coastal town of Desperance, this is a portrait of the Phantom family, leader of the Westend Pricklebush people, and its battles with old Joseph Midnight's renegade Eastend mob on the one hand, and the white officials of Uptown and the neighbouring Gurfurrit mine on the other. Set in the precariously settled coastal town of Desperance, "Carpentaria" is the unforgettable portrait of the powerful Phantom family, leader of the Westend Pricklebush people, and its battles with old Joseph Midnight's renegade Eastend mob on the one hand, and the white officials of Uptown and the neighbouring Gurfurrit mine on the other. By turns operatic and surreal, Wright's stunning and richly imagined storytelling is a blend of myth and scripture, farce and politics. Her extraordinary characters - Elias Smith the outcast saviour, the religious zealot Mozzie Fishman, the murderous mayor Stan Bruiser, the moth-ridden Captain Nicoli Finn, the activist and prodigal son Will Phantom, and above all, the rulers of the family, the queen of the rubbish-dump and the fish-embalming king of time, Angel Day and Normal Phantom - stride like giants in this storm-swept world. "* 'Wright's gift to Australian literature is Desperance... it's her uncanny ear for the particularities of local language and eye for striking symbolism that could carry Carpentaria into the classics sections of bookshelves in years to come.' - Michael Fitzgerald, Time Magazine * 'Wright's is the authentic aboriginal voice. With humour and occasional farce, but always with an underlying truthfulness, she delivers a brutal portrait of the physical and psychological violence between the white newcomers and the original inhabitants.' - The Economist * 'So comprehensive is Wright's vision that reading it is like looking at her world from the inside. It's an unashamedly big book - big in scope, ambition and physical size - and well-suited to the Gulf country it sings. It is also an important book.' - Liam Davison, Sydney Morning Herald * 'This is the kind of writing in which a reader can put their entire trust in the narrator, put the weight of their doubt in the narrator's hands. It is like being spoken to by someone with a voice you can trust, someone standing close by. It is as if you could hear their intake of breath, the compassion in their voice, their amusement at the foolishness of mortals.' - Alison Ravescroft, The Age"
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