The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia
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
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