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Walkaboutby Lee Siegel
Synopses & Reviews
A plane crashes in the vast Northern Territory of Australia,
and the only survivors are two children from Charleston, South
Carolina, on their way to visit their uncle in Adelaide. Mary
and her younger brother Peter set out on foot, lost in the vast,
hot Australian outback. They are saved by a chance meeting
with an Aboriginal boy on walkabout, who teaches them to
find food and water in the wilderness, but whom Mary can’t
bring herself to trust.
Though on the surface Walkabout is an adventure story, darker
themes lie just beneath. Peter’s innocent friendship with the
Aboriginal throws into relief Mary’s no longer childish anxiety,
and together raise questions about how Aboriginal and Western
culture can meet. And in the vivid descriptions of the natural
world, we realize that this story—a deep fairy tale in the spirit
of Adalbert Stifter’s Rock Crystal—must also be a story about
the closeness of death and the power of nature.
About the Author
James Vance Marshall is one of the pseudonyms of Donald
Gordon Payne, the English author of travel books, adventure
novels, and histories. Three of his books, including Walkabout,
have been made into films. He lives in Surrey, England.
Lee Siegel has written for Harper's, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. He is the author of four books, the most recent of which, Are You Serious? How to Be True and Get Real in the Age of Silly, has just been published.
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