Literature Andrew McGahan The White Earth

ISBN 13: 9781569474174

The White Earth

3.69 avg rating
( 1,090 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781569474174: The White Earth

Praise for The White Earth:

"Tremendous narrative skill . . . a lean, intelligent, and incisive novel."-The Sydney Morning Herald

"These characters . . . could have stepped from the pages of a Dickens novel. . . . At one level a suspenseful gothic thriller. At another it's a national allegory, with its portent that past wrongs will come back to haunt future generations."-The Age

"A powerful work, filled with passion and a kind of surreal grandiosity. . . . A truly compelling story. . . . It reverberates long after it's been finished."-The New Zealand Herald

When young William's ineffectual father is killed in an accidental fire, he is cast upon the charity of an unknown great-uncle, John McIvor. The bitter, childless old man had been brought up to expect to marry the heiress to Kuran Station-a grand estate in the Australian Outback-only to be disappointed by his rejection and the subsequent selling off of the land. His life has been devoted to putting the estate back together; he has only recently partially succeeded and moved into the disintegrating, once-elegant mansion, Kuran House.

McIvor tries to imbue William with his obsession for the land. He enlists him to work in a crackpot political party he is active in, whose policy is to thwart the Aborigines' attempts to recover ancestral territory. For recently passed laws entitle the native peoples to reclaim certain sacred sites.

William's mother desperately wants her son to ingratiate himself so that he will become John McIvor's heir. But what no one knows, because neither his uncle nor his mother actually ever see him, is that William is ill and his condition is gradually worsening.

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About the Author:

Andrew McGahan was born in Dalby, Queensland. He is the author of three novels and numerous screenplays. He currently lives in Melbourne.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Playing with genre expectations, McGahan's layered, impressive book (after 1988 and Praise) begins as a child's tale, takes on shades of the horror story and, in its most surprising shift, becomes a tragedy of Australian history. Set in Australia's Queensland province, the novel begins with the blaze of 70 acres of wheat, a conflagration that consumes nine-year-old William's father and sends the boy and his mother packing to his great-uncle John McIvor's rotting mansion on the arid plains of what was once a vast sheep ranch. Chapters alternate between William settling into his new existence (action set in the early 1990s), and the story of John's youth on the ranch, where as the son of the ranch manager he nurtured ambitions to one day own the estate. John recruits William's help in organizing a rally for his right-wing group, which opposes the proposed Native Title laws that would return Aboriginal-claimed land to the original inhabitants. The novel's first half is a slow build, the second half, a well-wrought, meditative reflection on Australia's colonialist demons, brings the book's gothic intimations home to roost. William must discover for himself the horrors that John's beloved land conceals and the original sin that lurks in Australia's past. (Jan.)
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McGahan, Andrew
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