The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia

Front Cover
Hamish Hamilton, 2014 - Australia - 427 pages
Most Australians live in cities and cling to the coastal fringe, yet our sense of what an Australian is - or should be - is drawn from the vast and varied inland called the bush. But what do we mean by 'the bush', and how has it shaped us? Starting with his forebears' battle to drive back nature and eke a living from the land, Don Watson explores the bush as it was and as it now is: the triumphs and the ruination, the commonplace and the bizarre, the stories we like to tell about ourselves and the national character, and those we don't. Via mountain ash and mallee, the birds and the beasts, slaughter, fire, flood and drought, swagmen, sheep and their shepherds, the strange and the familiar, the tragedies and the follies, the crimes and the myths and the hope - here is a journey that only our leading writer of non-fiction could take us on. At once magisterial in scope and alive with telling, wry detail, The Bush lets us see our landscape and its inhabitants afresh, examining what we have made, what we have destroyed, and what we have become in the process. No one who reads it will look at this country the same way again. 'The grand Australian bush - the nurse and tutor of eccentric minds, the home of the weird, and of much that is different from things in other lands.' Henry LawsonPraise for Don Watson's American Journeys'Dazzlingly eloquent and perceptive . . . As a storyteller [Watson] loses nothing to Theroux.' Tom Keneally 'Mark Twain, Jonathan Raban, Jack Kerouac and Andrew Ferguson would provide tough competition for anyone. Here, Watson competes with whimsy, with curiosity and with an open mind.' Canberra Times The best book by an outsider about America since - forever.' David Sedaris

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

About the author (2014)

Don Watson's books, articles and essays have been widely acclaimed. His bestselling titles include Recollections of a Bleeding Heart- Paul Keating Prime Minister, which won the Age Book of the Year and Non-Fiction Prizes, the Brisbane Courier Mail Book of the Year, the National Biography Award and the Australian Literary Studies Association's Book of the Year, Death Sentence, which won the Australian Booksellers Association Book of the Year, Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words, and American Journeys, which won The Age Book of the Year and Non-Fiction Book of the Year, the inaugural Indie Award for Non-Fiction and the Walkley Non-Fiction Award. In 2010 Don was awarded the Phillip Hodgins Memorial Medal for Australian Literature. Since 2003 his website weaselwords.com.au has been documenting the viral spread of management-speak and the decline of public language. His critically acclaimed 2014 book The Bushrecently won the Indie Book of the Year and the NSW Premier's Literary Award.

Bibliographic information