cover image of the book Carpentaria

Carpentaria is that rare kind of novel which opens up an entire world to the reader.

Australian Book Review

Alexis Wright’s award-winning classic Carpentaria: “a swelling, heaving tsunami of a novel—stinging, sinuous, salted with outrageous humor, sweetened by spiraling lyricism” (The Australian)

Available Feb, 06 2024


Fictionby Alexis Wright

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.

Paperback(published Feb, 06 2024)

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Portrait of Alexis Wright

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.

Carpentaria is that rare kind of novel which opens up an entire world to the reader.

Australian Book Review

Wright breaks all the rules of grammar and syntax to sweep us along on a great torrent of language that thrills and amazes with its inventiveness and humor and with the sheer power of its storytelling... Like the Gulf Country itself, this is big enough to lose yourself in. Once in, you may never want to be found.

Sydney Morning Herald