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The White Earth de Andrew McGahan
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The White Earth (edição: 2007)

de Andrew McGahan

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3351157,818 (3.69)66
In late 1992, 8 year-old William looked out from the back verandah of his home and saw the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion. There was no sound, but William was aware of the smell of burning.... Later, his father dead by fire and his mother plagued by demons of her own, William is cast upon the charity of his embittered uncle.… (mais)
Membro:rocktheworld
Título:The White Earth
Autores:Andrew McGahan
Informação:Soho Press (2007), Paperback, 376 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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The White Earth de Andrew McGahan

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A beautiful, timeless, gothic cathedral of a novel. Andrew McGahan, who passed away tragically young this year (2019), remains an underrated Australian novelist. While he is better known for his sardonic novellas capturing Queensland so well and - to younger readers - for his YA fiction, this is McGahan's great work.

Set during the Keating era and the passing of Native Title legislation (with flashbacks to the long dry years of the Menzies era), The White Earth is a story of our country's history, of a brewing war over that same history (a war that, in the 15 years since the novel was published, has erupted), and of the lies we tell to replace an unpalatable truth.

However, far from being didactic, McGahan grounds his examination in young William's discovery of his new world, Kunal Station, the farm where he and his recently-widowed mother have been taken in. The farm teems with gothic experiences and strange characters navigating their own paths. Importantly, the author also allows all of his characters to speak their truths, questioning that strange feeling (which I know only too well, as the descendant of a white family 200 years on this soil) of being the possessor of a stolen land while also having a genuine longstanding connection to the land oneself.

It is a novel of questions rather than answers, an earnest look at the challenges of land ownership, of Native Title, of family, and of history itself. ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
Written by an Aussie author and set in Australia during early settlement days. The story of a man who obsesses over owning land and passing it to his family. a touch mystical, a touch dark, a touch historical.... a good read and interesting to learn a little about settling Australia. ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
Wonderful. A complicated Australian story across three generations, and the title ends up being a literal one. I especially enjoyed the reiterative 'man on fire' motif, and the complicated history of the station over time. ( )
  kcshankd | Sep 12, 2016 |
When William's father dies in a farm accident , he and his mother go to live with his great uncle in a rambling run down house on a large property in the Darling Downs in Queensland Aust. The old man is grooming 9 year old William to inherit the property, but Native Title legislation is being introduced into Australian Parliament, and an incident in the past could open the way for an aboriginal claim on the land. ( )
  TheWasp | Aug 23, 2013 |
It would seem we have been leaning heavily towards the Australian novel this year with the completion of White Earth by Andrew McGahan. Set in rural Australia during the 1980's Mabo debate, young eight year old William finds himself used as a pawn by his widowed mother and distant uncle in a family struggle of homestead survival. As with Grenville's Secret River, which we read earlier this year, we have a great novel depicting both sides of the rual conflict for land.

It was agreed by most of our readers that it was interesting to read a novel that dealt with the history of our time. Aware of Mabo when it was happening, most of us could not relate to the issue at the time. We all found the characters to be realistic, even if William appeared to be a little too insightful for his eight years.

Sue suggested that the second half of the book was much more intriguing than the first half and Viti agreed. She felt the vocabulary was not elevated (say, to a Malouf level) enough to completely keep her interest, whereas Tera thought his description of the Australian bush was beautifully done and I had to agree with her. I found it simple and understated in a countrified way. Something Australians are very good at.

Ann loved its history, people, symbolism and social justice issues ... and it got extra points for the map!

We didn't get too deep with this book as I think we could all clearly see the picture the author was painting. I did think it interesting that Nancy and Denise both commented on the women in the story and their ineptness. This was not meant to be anything other than an observation, but clearly an interesing one as it brought us to the discussion of depression in rual areas and its impact.

The scores ran from 4 to 8, a tight run with Secret River in the popularity stakes for our group. White Earth won the Miles Franklin Award last year, so if you have an interest in Australian fiction, it really is a must read. ( )
  DaptoLibrary | Aug 6, 2012 |
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In late 1992, 8 year-old William looked out from the back verandah of his home and saw the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion. There was no sound, but William was aware of the smell of burning.... Later, his father dead by fire and his mother plagued by demons of her own, William is cast upon the charity of his embittered uncle.

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