It's 1969 and a remote coastal town in Western Australia is poised to play a pivotal part in the moon landing. Perched on the red dunes of its outskirts looms the great Dish: a relay for messages between Apollo 11 and Houston, Texas. Crouched around a single grainy set, radar technician Evan Johnson and his colleagues stare at the screen, transfixed, as Armstrong takes that first small step.
I was in my cage of course, unheard, underestimated, biscuit crumbs on my beak. But fate is a curious thing. For just as Evan Johnson's story is about to end (and perhaps with a giant leap), my story prepares to take flight...
The Lucky Galah is a novel about fate. About Australia. About what it means to be human. It just happens to be narrated by a galah called Lucky.
Review by Ben Hunter
It’s 1964 and a remote dot of a north Western Australian town has become the clandestine home to an enormous radio satellite dish, a mission-critical piece of NASA hardware that will be a lifeline between Houston and the moon-bound Apollo rockets. This dish beams communications directly into the mind of this novel’s narrator. That narrator is a pet galah named Lucky.
This is the refreshingly unique set-up of The Lucky Galah, an utterly engaging and beguiling new novel from Tracy Sorensen. Her screeching pink bird is the reader’s portal into a red dust town where the social/political revolution of the 1960s is a long way away and the ideas expressed within the pages of Donald Horne’s The Lucky Country don’t really feel within grasp. It’s a book that doesn’t just evoke nostalgia but asks us to question the way we live today. I won’t sift through the ins and outs of this story because I want you to enjoy its subtleties as I have.
This book is a bundle of Australian kook ready to disarm, charm and move its readers. Embrace it.
About the Author
Tracy Sorensen is a writer, filmmaker and academic. She was born in Brisbane, grew up in Carnarvon on the north coast of Western Australia and lived in and around Newtown, Sydney, for about 15 years. She now lives in Bathurst with her partner Steve and a black Labrador (Bertie). The Lucky Galah is her first novel.