“We have to think big. We have to imagine big, and that's part of the problem. We're letting other people imagine and lead us down what paths they want to take us. Sometimes they're very limited in the way their ideas are constructed. We need to imagine much more broadly. That's the work of a writer, and more writers should look at it.” – Alexis Wright
Born on this date in 1950, Wright is an Indigenous Australian writer and lands rights champion for the native Australian people.
An award nominee for a number of her writings, but particularly Carpentaria, she has published both fiction and nonfiction and is a noted essayist as well as novelist. Her major nonfiction books are Take Power, an anthology on the history of the land rights movement, and Grog War on the introduction of alcohol restrictions in her native Tennant Creek area.
Carpentaria, which tells the interconnected stories of several inhabitants of the fictional town of Desperance on Austrailia’s Gulf of Carpentaria, was rejected by every major publisher in Australia before independent publisher Giramondo published it in 2006. Giramondo chose wisely. The book has won the Miles Franklin Award (Austrailia’s premiere writing prize), the 2007 Fiction Book award in the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards competition, and the 2007 ALS Gold Medal and the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction. It also has sold hundreds of thousands of copies.
In addition to her writing, Wright is a Distinguished
Research Fellow at the University of Western Sydney. “My role as a novelist is to explore ideas and imagination,” Wright said. “Hopefully that will inspire people from my world to continue dreaming and to believe in dreams.”
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