LitBirthdays November 25, 2010

November is

National Peanut Butter Lovers Month

and

National Drum Month

and

Jewish Book Month
and

National Novel Writing Month
and
American Indian / Native American Heritage Month

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Tweet us today with author birthdays!

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Thursday November 25

Alexis Wright (b. 1950) – Australian (indigenous) novelist, short story writer – Carpentaria (2006) Alexis Wright

Read the Wikipedia article about Alexis Wright

Read about Wright’s second novel, Carpentaria, here and here

Carpentaria offers a portrait of a fictional town called Desperance, where white and Aboriginal people are segregated, the mayor, Stan Bruiser, is a bigot capable of limitless brutality, the “good” whites are ineffectual, and the central Aboriginal characters – fisherman-turned-taxidermist Normal Phantom and his wife, Angel Day – have to fight to preserve what Wright, echoing Seamus Heaney, calls “the sovereignty of the mind”. When white people have taken your land, exiled you to the scummy edge of town – Angel Day spends much of her time hunting through a rubbish tip – and stripped you of your rights, all you have left is your own way of seeing the world. Wright’s book is both a celebration of that vision and an attempt to recreate it – to tell the world the sort of stories her grandmother used to tell her, in that ageless voice.

(Stephen Moss, The Guardian, April 14, 2008)

swans-1

Alexis Wright talks about life, her novel The Swan Book, and her grandmother in this interview

I loved my grandmother so much. I would take off down to her place, which I think was about a kilometre away. I would just take off and people in Cloncurry must have seen me passing by, knew where I was going and probably kept an eye on me as I was passing their homes. She was a great storyteller and a great nurturing influence. She had a lot of grandchildren, but I decided she was for me and I was for her [laughs]. She took me on long walks along the river and in the bush and to the rubbish tip. A lot of people were living along the river in shacks; she’d stop and have a cup of tea with them and talk and tell stories. Her way of understanding the world and how it operated was very much from a cultural background, so you had to really imagine what she was saying. I think she taught me to imagine and to understand how the world operates in different ways, not just looking at what you can see.
Interview by Jerico Mandybur, Oyster Magazine
August 29, 2014

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