Adrian Hyland Interview

Adrian Hyland, author of Diamond Dove which has just been published in the UK, is interviewed by Stuart MacBride for "Shots Magazine".

SM: Diamond Dove is one of those wonderful novels that really envelops the reader in a culture that they probably never get to experience first hand. What made you decide to set the story in the world of the outback?

AH: I lived for many years in the outback -- went there straight after Uni, and the place kind of crept -- well, roared like a wildfire into my soul. I did a bit of mining and station work, then ended up working in Aboriginal community development -- which sounds impressive, but in fact meant bouncing around the Tanami Desert with a Toyota full of Aboriginal people -- sometimes taking them back to places they'd walked out of thirty years before. I've travelled pretty well everywhere, lived in a lot of far-flung places, but Central Australia remains the most fascinating place I've ever seen. All of the big questions -- development vs. environment, the spiritual vs. the material, toast vs. cereal or fry-up -- are there, in your face. The human comedy unravels before your eyes: you've got hippies and rednecks, superannuated commies, grey nomads, miners, pastoralists, boozers, bruisers, substance-abusers and some really weird people -- have you seen Wolf Creek? - living cheek by jowl. Most importantly, of course, there were the Aboriginal people: they were the touchstone for me.

SM: Well, it certainly comes across. Emily Tempest is a great central character, someone who's got a foot in both camps -- the settler and the aboriginal -- but as a middle-aged white bloke did you get any stick for writing from the point of view of a young black girl?

AH: Not yet, but there's still plenty of time, if anybody's interested. I was writing about people I knew and loved. I've never met anyone quite like em. They're beautiful people, rich in spirit of place and the funniest buggers you could ever hope to meet -- I spent many a night by a camp fire rocking with laughter. I wanted to bring that world to life, and I'd like to think that my intentions were honourable.

[Thanks to Aust Crime Fiction for the link.]

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 17, 2008 11:14 AM.

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