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The Drover's Wife

Leah Purcell

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HAMISH HAMILTON
04 December 2019
Fiction & Literature; Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945); NSW Premier's Literary Awards
Deep in the heart of Australia's high country, along an ancient, hidden track, lives Molly Johnson and her four surviving children, another on the way. Husband Joe is away months at a time droving livestock up north, leaving his family in the bush to fend for itself. Molly's children are her world, and life is hard and precarious with only their dog, Alligator, and a shotgun for protection - but it can be harder when Joe's around.

At just 12 years of age, Molly's eldest son Danny is the true man of the house, determined to see his mother and siblings safe - from raging floodwaters, hunger and intruders, man and reptile. Danny is mature beyond his years, but there are some things no child should see. He knows more than most just what it takes to be a drover's wife.

One night under the moon's watch, Molly has a visitor of a different kind - a black 'story keeper', Yadaka. He's on the run from authorities in the nearby town, and exchanges kindness for shelter. Both know that justice in this nation caught between two worlds can be as brutal as its landscape. But in their short time together, Yadaka shows Molly a secret truth, and the strength to imagine a different path.

Full of fury and power, Leah Purcell's The Drover's Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson is a brave reimagining of the Henry Lawson short story that has become an Australian classic. Brilliantly plotted, it is a compelling thriller of our pioneering past that confronts head-on issues of today - race, gender, violence and inheritance.
By:   Leah Purcell
Imprint:   HAMISH HAMILTON
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 154mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   440g
ISBN:   9780143791478
ISBN 10:   0143791478
Pages:   192
Publication Date:   04 December 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Leah Purcell is one of this nation's most eminent cultural figures. She is arguably Australia's most outstanding cultural polymath - a multi award-winning author, director, playwright, actor, director, film-maker, theatre-maker and screen-writer. That she directs her prodigious talents towards Indigenous and First Nations themes, characters and issues, has resulted in a body of work already considered canonical in our library and stage history. Her latest work is the award winning The Drover's Wife. This play written and starring Purcell swept all before it in 2017 winning the VIC and NSW Premiers Literary Awards for Best Play, Best Book, Prize for Literature; AWGIE Awards for Best Play, Major Work and the David Williamson Prize; 4 Helpmann Awards for Best Play, Script and the UNESCO City of Sydney Film Award. This all culminated in Leah being placed in the AFR Top 10 Power List for 2017 for Culture. She recently signed the publishing deal to deliver The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson novel in 2019 and will begin filming The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson feature film where she will write, direct and star to be delivered 2020. Leah is a proud Goa-Gunggari-Wakka Wakka Murri woman from QLD.

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