by Kim Scott
Examining ideas of belonging andbeing an outsider, this story follows Billy, a young school teacher and drifter who arrives in Australia's remote far north in search of his past, his Aboriginal roots, and his future. Through masterful language and metaphor, as well as a sophisticated tone that is both subtle and spirited, the novelfindsBilly in a region not only of abundan...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Fremantle Press
(first published April 30th 1993)
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Identity, voice and place in Kim Scott's "True Country".
True Country begins and closes with a welcome, a welcome extended to a hovering, flying “you” which will become Billy but is also the reader, a “you” who “might fly in many times, high up and like reading river, hill, tree, rocks” (p.16, True Country), but who on the first occasion arrives by plane, noticing only landmarks which might locate Scott’s fictive Aboriginal settlement of Kanarma, where Billy has come to teach, on a map. It will...more
Mar 06, 2012 S'hi rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition Recommends it for: all australians
Through many voices – past and present, embodied and ethereal – Kim Scott explores the terrain we are all still wanting to claim as out own, yet cannot hold by mere words. From the first stumbling conversation and the patience of the speaker in awaiting the proof of listening, the familiarity of images and expectations in indigenous communities opens out to possibilities we must each become a part to. Ultimately this book is an invitation to participate. And it recognises this is not a comfortab...more
This is a beautifully written book in which the narrative (other than the traditional Aboriginal Welcome) begins with Billy, slowly incorporating more voices of those around him until there is a strange unity in the multitude. It is about finding one's home, while the land simultaneously rejects those who do not belong. Perhaps all that I can say against the book is that it does have some pacing issues, rushing a bit at certain points, particularly in the last few chapters.
A beautiful book set in what I read as a fictionalized version of Kalumburu. Scott renders the full-on beauty of the north Kimberley and the complications of life on the community perfectly. The impressionist-y quality of the storytelling and the shifting voices and perspectives reflect his ambivalence about his role in the community, his relationship with stories and country, and his own Aboriginality.
I found it really difficult to get through this book. Partially because the multiple narratives became confusing at times, but largely because overall I didn't find the story compelling enough to make it worthwhile.
Because of all the hype about this book I was really looking forward to reading it but instead I found it so difficult to read that I gave up after about fifty pages. I found it very confusing and frankly not interesting enough to be worthwhile trudging on with it.
Born in 1957, Kim Scott's ancestral Noongar country is the south-east coast of Western Australia between Gairdner River and Cape Arid. His cultural Elders use the term Wirlomin to refer to their clan, and the Norman Tindale nomenclature identifies people of this area as Wudjari/Koreng. Kim's professional background is in education and the arts. He is the author of two novels, True Country and Bena...moreMore about Kim Scott...