Alexis Wright

A prize-winning novelist and nonfiction writer, and a member of the Waanyi nation of the southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Alexis Wright

Alexis Wright is a member of the Waanyi nation of the southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The author of the prize-winning novels Carpentaria and The Swan Book, Wright has published three works of non-fiction: Take Power, an oral history of the Central Land Council; Grog War, a study of alcohol abuse in the Northern Territory; and Tracker, an award-winning collective memoir of Aboriginal leader Tracker Tilmouth. Her work has been translated into Chinese, Polish, French, and Italian. She held the position of Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature at the University of Melbourne from 2017–2022. Wright is the only author to win both the Miles Franklin Award (in 2007 for Carpentaria) and the Stella Prize (in 2018 for Tracker).

cover image of the book Praiseworthy

Praiseworthy

WINNER OF THE 2024 STELLA PRIZE

WINNER OF THE 2024 JAMES TAIT BLACK PRIZE

WINNER OF THE 2023 QUEENSLAND AWARD FOR LITERARY FICTION

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2024 DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD

In a small town in the north of Australia, a mysterious haze cloud heralds both an ecological catastrophe and a gathering of the ancestors. A visionary on his own holy quest, Cause Man Steel seeks the perfect platinum donkey to launch an Aboriginal-owned donkey transport industry, saving Country and the world from fossil fuels. His wife, Dance, seeking solace from his madness, studies butterflies and moths and dreams of repatriating her family to China. One of their sons, named Aboriginal Sovereignty, is determined to end it all by walking into the sea. Their other child, Tommyhawk, wants nothing more than to be adopted by Australia’s most powerful white woman. Praiseworthy is an epic masterpiece that bends time and reality—a cry of outrage against oppression, greed, and assimilation.

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cover image of the book Carpentaria

Carpentaria

Carpentaria is an epic of the Gulf Country of northwestern Queensland, Australia. Its portrait of life in the precariously settled coastal town of Desperance centers on 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 with the white officials of Uptown and the nearby rapacious, ecologically disastrous Gurfurrit mine on the other. Wright’s masterful novel teems with extraordinary characters—the outcast savior Elias Smith, the religious zealot Mozzie Fishman, the murderous mayor Bruiser, the moth-ridden Captain Nicoli Finn, the activist Will Phantom, and above all, the rulers of the family, the queen of the garbage dump and the fish-embalming king of time: Angel Day and Normal Phantom—who stand like giants in a storm-swept world.

Wright’s storytelling is operatic and surreal: a blend of myth and scripture, politics and farce. She has a narrative gift of remaking reality itself, altering along her way, as if casually, the perception of what a novel can do with the inside of the reader’s mind. Carpentaria is “an epic, exhilarating, unsettling novel” (Wall Street Journal) that is not to be missed.

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