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The White Earth

Andrew McGahan



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Allen & Unwin
01 August 2005
Fiction & Literature; Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945); Miles Franklin Literary Award
A haunting, powerful novel about the power of the land and the passions of people trying to make it their own.

One spring day in late 1992, when William was halfway between his eighth birthday and his ninth, he looked out from the back verandah of his home and saw, huge in the sky, the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion. He stared at it, wondering. The thunderhead was dirty black, streaked with billows of grey. It rolled and boiled as it climbed into the clear blue day, casting a vast shadow upon the hills beyond. But there was no sound, no rumble of an explosion. William was aware of the smell of burning . . . but it was a good smell, a familiar smell. The smell of grass, of wheat, of the farm itself.

His father dead by fire and his mother plagued by demons of her own, William is cast upon the charity of his unknown uncle - an embittered old man encamped in the ruins of a once great station homestead, Kuran House. It's a baffling and sinister new world for the boy, a place of decay and secret histories. His uncle is obsessed by a long life of decline and by a dark quest for revival, his mother is desperate for a wealth and security she has never known, and all their hopes it seems come to rest upon William's young shoulders. But as the past and present of Kuran Station unravel and merge together, the price of that inheritance may prove to be the downfall of them all. The White Earth is a haunting, disturbing and cautionary tale.

'The novel is beautifully structured, filled with parallels and reverberations which come back to haunt and illuminate the reader as the story unfolds.' - Katharine England, Adelaide Advertiser

'A great Australian story embracing national themes that should engage us all.' - Lucy Clark, The Sunday Telegraph

Winner, The Miles Franklin Award 2005

Winner, 2005 The Commonwealth Writers' Prize, South East Asia and South Pacific Region WC

Winner, National Year of Reading 2012, Queensland

Winner, 2004 The Age Book of the Year (fiction)

Winner, 2004 The Courier Mail Book of the Year Award

Shortlisted, 2004 Queensland Premier's Liteary Awards

Shortlisted, 2006 Festival Awards for Literature (SA) Award for Fiction

Longlisted, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2005
By:   Andrew McGahan
Imprint:   Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 195mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   350g
ISBN:   9781741146127
ISBN 10:   1741146127
Pages:   396
Publication Date:   01 August 2005
Recommended Age:   From
Audience:   College/higher education ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
  • Winner of \N 0

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