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The moving and personal story of one woman's journey into the remote and rugged Tanami Desert with the matriarchs of her husband's family. Shortlisted for both The Age Book of the Year and The Australian Human Rights Commission Literature Award. 'This big land, Australia. It's big enough for everyone!' calls Annie Karrakayn across the pre-dawn campfire to the other Law women stirring from the perfect quiet of a still, desert night. 'Strong Dreamin' ' she whispers. So begins the intimate diary of Ros Moriarty, a white woman married to an Aboriginal man, as she takes an emotional journey across country and culture to the Northern Territory's Tanami Desert with Annie and the other matriarchs of her husband's Aboriginal family to perform ceremony. Interwoven with her desert journal are personal and family stories of black and white Australia - from the shameful and painful to the ordinary and everyday, to the glorious and awe-inspiring - illuminating the deep connection humanity shares, regardless of race and place. Full of warmth and honesty, Listening to Country opens a rare and vivid window to the voices, humour and strength of these remarkable Law women of the remote Gulf of Carpentaria. It reveals the human relationships and philosophical insights which enable them to transcend the heartbreaking material poverty, illness and increasing violence of their community, to live life with astonishing happiness and purpose. Listening to Country is an uplifting tribute to them and a celebration of love, family and belonging.
- Allen&Unwin, May 2010
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