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Craft for a Dry Lake

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Kim Mahood's memoir Craft for a Dry Lake was published in 2000 and won the 2001 NSW Premier's Award and The Age non-fiction Book of the Year. ...more
Unknown Binding, 266 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Anchor (UK) (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't know why it took me so long to read this book. I kept picking it up, putting it down, unable to find a rhythm with it. This is not because it wasn't good, in fact it is beautifully written, sensitively crafted and the premise deeply profound. It's exactly the kind of book I would like to write. I can only guess that it was this very depth and the author's raw introspection that made it so challenging. It is not something you can read lightly, or as a distraction from daily cares. It requ ...more
Graham Crawford
Jan 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book annoyed the hell out of me, but to be fair to the writer the first third was quite engrossing. Kim Mahood writes well when she is telling the stories of other people, interesting tales of the indigenous folk of the Northern Territory, and the complex and often broken characters of folk who choose to work and live in the bush. This part of the book is an important snapshot of our social history.

Then it all descends into a self conscious and embarrassingly self-obsessed rant about her fe
Mark White
Oct 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
In this deeply personal and intimate account author Kim Mahood returns, carrying her recently deceased father's ashes, to the remote area where she grew up. The story is beautifully written. It shows in a way I have rarely seen the harsh beauty of the outback and more importantly gives an insight into the aboriginal people and their relationship to the land. The story resonated for me as she explored her relationship with her father and how his expectations shaped her own personality and life pa ...more
Jenny Esots
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kim Mahood is dealing with profound grief at the sudden loss of her father in a helicopter accident.
She is reflective and extraordinarily honest in her thoughts.
The social conventions of grief are shaken apart as she travels solo through the Tanimi desert with her old dog Sam for company.
She screams at the stars and rolls in red ochre dust.
Revisiting her childhood places.
Seemingly isolating herself on the journey as a form of punishment and exile.
The book requires the reader to immerse themselve
Jessie Kelly
May 17, 2020 rated it liked it
A beautiful, challenging book. Too close for comfort at many times, especially if you love the Australian landscape. A book unlike a lot of others I have read and made me very homesick. :)
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kim Mahood is an artist, teacher and writer who lives just outside Canberra, Australia but she grew up in the remote part of Central Australia, 500 dirt track miles from the nearest town. Her first caretakers were Aboriginal women, but from early on she had also a very close relationship with her father. She spent most of her summers in the outback with him even before there was house deemed acceptable enough for her mother and the other children to move there. By the time she was a teenager she ...more
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
I got really fed up with this book. It's one of those deep-and-meaningful search for an identity books. Her father, an alcoholic Irish pastoralist dies in an accident, and she, having led a city life as an artist, retraces his steps in outback NT and the west.
Yes, she writes well about the beauty of the outback, perceptively about Aborigines especially women, and compassionately about her father. But ultimately, it was a case of so what? It's too long.
Susan Penrod
Jul 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
Well, it actually took me nine years to FINISH this book. I must have started it a half a dozen times, only to put it down and have to start again. Kim is re-tracing her dead Father's steps through the Australian Outback to lay his ghost to rest, but finds many ghosts of her own. I found it a bit hard to distinguish between the past and present - especially in the beginning. It did get better though and I'm glad I finally finished it. ...more
John Terrey
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
wonderful sympathetic view of aboriginal Australians.
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