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A tough, uncompromising novel about the difficult love between a white man and a black woman.
Coonardoo is the moving story of a young Aboriginal woman trained from childhood to be the housekeeper at Wytaliba station and, as such, destined to look after its owner, Hugh Watt. The love between Coonardoo and Hugh, which so shocked its readers when the book was first published in 1929, is never acknowledged and so, degraded and twisted in on itself, destroys not only Coonardoo, but also a community which was once peaceful.
Introduced by Drusilla Modjeska, this frank and daring novel set on the edge of the desert still raises difficult questions about the history of contact between black and white, and its representation in Australian writing.
About the Author
Katharine Susannah Prichard was born in 1883 in Levuka, Fiji, where her father was the editor of a newspaper. She spent part of her childhood in Melbourne and part in Tasmania before moving to Greenmount, Western Australia, where she died in 1969. Her novels include The Pioneers (winner of the Australian section of Hodder Stoughton's All-Empire novel competition), Working Bullocks, Coonardoo and The Black Opal, but she also wrote poetry, short stories and a play. She went on the road with the iconic Wirth's Circus to research Haxby's Circus.
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Comments about Coonardoo:
A fascinating read and well written and descriptive. Reviews say this is a taboo subject; far from it, it is essential reading for anyone inquisitive on early relationships between the two peoples. Simply read other stories of explorers and settlers and the reader will start to understand a little on the mistakes made in relationships due to ingrained and learnt bigotry and presumptive attitudes towards superiority.
Series: A&R classics
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
For Ages: 14 - 16 years old
For Grades: 10
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: June 2002
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 20.0 x 14.2 x 1.9
Weight (kg): 0.254