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Coonardoo : A&R classics - Katherine Susannah Prichard

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Published: 1st August 2012
Format: ePUB

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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(based on 1 review)

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Reviewed by 1 customer

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Great expression of the racial interface


from Southen Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.

About Me Everyday Reader

Verified Buyer


  • Deserves Multiple Readings
  • Engaging Characters
  • Page Turner
  • Well Written


    Best Uses

    • Reference
    • Special Needs
    • Younger Readers

    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.

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    ISBN: 9780207198472
    ISBN-10: 0207198470
    Series: A&R classics
    Audience: Tertiary; University or College
    For Ages: 14 - 16 years old
    For Grades: 10
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    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