Profile of Alexis Wright

In "The New York Times", Jane Perlez introduces Alexis Wright to an American audience. Still no American publisher for Carpentaria at this time.

Despite highly laudatory reviews, Wright's 500-plus-page tale of the tortured relations between blacks and whites in the sparsely populated desert country around the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Queensland languished on bookstore shelves. With a few exceptions, the independent bookstores run by political liberals, who have often expressed embarrassment at the sorry treatment of Australia's indigenous people, were reluctant to promote it. Too difficult stylistically, said the salespeople at the Macleay Bookshop and Bookoccino, two of Sydney's top literary outlets, where Wright's novel was hard to find in the months after its publication.

But today Carpentaria, published by the small literary house Giramondo after it was rejected by every major publisher in Australia, has become a literary sensation. It is in its sixth printing, with sales of 25,000 copies, far above the usual 2,000 to 3,000 for a literary novel here.

This is pretty rare for the NYT to give this amount of coverage to an Australian writer. Peter Carey might get it, Malouf and Murray maybe. But not many others.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 20, 2007 10:08 AM.

Australian Bookcovers #90 - Illywhacker by Peter Carey was the previous entry in this blog.

Weekend Round-Up 2007 #39 is the next entry in this blog.

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