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ISBN:1569474176
Author: Andrew McGahan
ISBN13: 978-1569474174
Title: The White Earth
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Language: English
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Publisher: Soho Press; 1st Printing edition (January 1, 2006)
Pages: 376

The White Earth by Andrew McGahan



First published in 2004. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher  . National Library of Australia. cation entry: McGahan, Andrew. ISBN 1 74114 147 8. 1. Inheritance and succession – Fiction.

MaryG2E said: . ★sThe publicity blurb for this intriguing book touts it as Part family saga, part. Throughout the book images o A Disturbing Novel by Australian Author who received the Miles Franklin Award in 2005. Andrew McGahan wrote about an area where he grew up and describes the area with great feeling. The book is Motivated by the Mabo Legislation and deals with reactions to this based on ownership of the land and consequences for the property Ownwers.

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Andrew McGahan (1966 – 1 February 2019) was an Australian novelist, best known for his first novel Praise, and for his Miles Franklin Award-winning novel The White Earth. His novel Praise is considered to be part of the Australian literary genre of grunge lit. Born in Dalby, Queensland, McGahan was the ninth of ten children and grew up on a wheat farm. His schooling was at St Columba’s and St Mary’s colleges in Dalby, and then Marist College Ashgrove in Brisbane

The White Earth (2007). About book: . ★sThe publicity blurb for this intriguing book touts it as Part family saga, part history and part gothic thriller. This is a pretty accurate description of a grim but compelling story. The title does not reflect any reality, but rather is a reference to the White family who once owned a large pastoral station, Kuran, on the northern fringes of the Darling Downs, west of Brisbane. With that dynasty long gone, the property is now in the hands of John McIvor, son of the former station manager, Daniel McIvor. The sense of neglect, mould, decay, and sadness saturates the pages, and the brooding, grim House with its weird noises and mysterious rooms becomes like a character in the novel. Outback version of the classic ‘haunted house’?

A-. -Entertainment Weekly McGahan scrutinizes his characters without puppetry, and his prose moves with grace, smoothness and a gift for setting. San Francisco Chronicle Absorbing, disturbing, almost gothic, by turns, as McGahan depicts the inextricability of family and the primal hunger for finding and naming home. Valerie Miner, The Boston Globe After his father’s death, young William is cast upon the charity.

Publication date 2006. Topics Inheritance and succession, Cholesteatoma, Fatherless families, Mothers and sons, Rural families, Family farms, Land tenure, Uncles, Boys. Publisher New York, NY : Soho. Collection inlibrary; printdisabled; ; americana. Digitizing sponsor Internet Archive. Contributor Internet Archive.

Praise for The White Earth:

"Tremendous narrative skill . . . a lean, intelligent, and incisive novel."-The Sydney Morning Herald

"These characters . . . could have stepped from the pages of a Dickens novel. . . . At one level a suspenseful gothic thriller. At another it's a national allegory, with its portent that past wrongs will come back to haunt future generations."-The Age

"A powerful work, filled with passion and a kind of surreal grandiosity. . . . A truly compelling story. . . . It reverberates long after it's been finished."-The New Zealand Herald

When young William's ineffectual father is killed in an accidental fire, he is cast upon the charity of an unknown great-uncle, John McIvor. The bitter, childless old man had been brought up to expect to marry the heiress to Kuran Station-a grand estate in the Australian Outback-only to be disappointed by his rejection and the subsequent selling off of the land. His life has been devoted to putting the estate back together; he has only recently partially succeeded and moved into the disintegrating, once-elegant mansion, Kuran House.

McIvor tries to imbue William with his obsession for the land. He enlists him to work in a crackpot political party he is active in, whose policy is to thwart the Aborigines' attempts to recover ancestral territory. For recently passed laws entitle the native peoples to reclaim certain sacred sites.

William's mother desperately wants her son to ingratiate himself so that he will become John McIvor's heir. But what no one knows, because neither his uncle nor his mother actually ever see him, is that William is ill and his condition is gradually worsening.

Reviews: 7
Rivik
The White Earth has been described as an example of "Australian gothic" and it certainly makes use of gothic elements. The whole story is based around a decaying mansion where the main character William and his mother are forced to live when his father dies in a farming accident. This house is inhabited by William's bitter, angry uncle who is seeking an heir for Kuran station and who latches onto William as his last hope, and his sinister housekeeper who could have stepped straight out of the pages of Rebecca. There are dark secrets and ghostly visions and everything goes up in flames at the end. Interwoven into this story is the political issue of Aboriginal land rights and Australia's very bloody and shameful history. It's an ambitious attempt to intermarry the gothic tradition with political issues but in my opinion it doesn't work.

To be brutally honest the first word that sprang to mind for me as I started reading this book was "amateur." I was expecting a certain standard of literary merit for a Miles Franklin winning book and the writing did not live up to this standard. The language is not sophisticated or rich and I was baffled about how the book could have won such a prestigious award. Then I realized that it was the issue of land rights and the Mabo decision that probably resonated with the judges and this just made me feel even more disillusioned because the book only addresses these issues in a very superficial, heavy-handed way. This heavy-handedness is obvious in the symbolism. The original station owners for example were called White (hence the title) and William is haunted by a rotting smell throughout the book that turns out to be coming from his infected ear but is clearly meant to symoblise the death and destruction that Kuran station was founded on (enough with the damn ear ache already!). All the visions and William's wanderings through the darkness should have been dream-like and poetic but I found myself skipping many of these passages out of boredom.

Then there's the whole issue of place and time. One reviewer described the book as "timeless" in a complimentary way, and I have to agree with the description but for me this was one of the biggest faults of the book. I knew very little about The White Earth when I started reading it and I found it impossible to work out what period it was set in for several chapters. A boy of William's age would be immersed in popular culture but there no mention of anything he liked to do and no other references to events or objects that would place it in the 1990s. Although the book deals with Australian politics and history there's also nothing about this book that anchored it in rural Australia for me. I got no sense at all of the Australian bush, landscape, culture or people from this novel. The dialogue did not help to distinguish the characters or ground them. There was a whole lot of "telling" in the book, particularly in the chapters written from John McIvor's perspective. Much of the dialogue about Mabo and history came across as information dumping. (If you want to read a book that really captures the essence of rural Australia then try Foals Bread by Gillian Mears. For an account of the brutality of colonisation you can't do better than Kate Grenville's The Secret River).

Land rights and Mabo are very worth subjects to write about and should be explored in a serious way. This "gothic" approach does not do them justice in my opinion because it goes for cheap thrills, clichéd characters and melodramatic plot developments. The ending was particularly heavy-handed and ridiculous. It also doesn't include a single Indigenous voice. Although the Mabo legislation was all about Aboriginal rights they remain on the margins in the book as shadowy figures in a painting, ghostly victims of violence discarded at the bottom of the water hole, or cautious, watchful women on the former mission at Cherbourg. There's nothing about the ongoing impact of colonisation on Indigenous people apart from a rose-tinted reference to Cherbourg as a "self-governing" community. I was very dissatisfied with this novel.
Truthcliff
It's is an extremely well written book. However I found the story rather an unhappy one, however it was so compelling I had to keep on reading. The characters are drawn with a clarity that portrays them in detail in your mind. I can't say I liked any of them much and I was a little disappointed that the flavour of Australia was rather bland. Given my criticisms I am pondering what it was that held my attention. I think it was a desire to see the boy overcome such hardship without carrying the sour nature of his past life with him. I give it 4 out of 5.White Earth
Vushura
McGahan's work is clever and topical, speaking with fair directness to recent controversies over the role of inheritors in the sins of the past in Australia. His book is filled with relevant metaphors that are useful without being ponderous or distracting from the interesting and well-written central story. An old man, stained with sin, and a young boy who has to choose whether to embrace that inheritance or defy it.

Unfortunately, this is one of many ebooks that appears to have just been scanned in with Optical Character Recognition, and no editor seems to have laid eyes on it since. While very readable, there are frequent errors in punctuation - in particular, the ends of dialog have their ." changed into a :, an irritating shift.

A good book, but overpriced at $10 considered the poor quality of the edition. Give it a pass.
Gabar
I couldn't put it down. I've never read much about the development of Australia and this story gives great detail of the personal lives of people involved. The author painted wonderful detail of personalities and terrain.
Alianyau
Truly important ending, surprising and yet totally logical: I loved how the female lawyer cousin intervenes in a young boy's understanding of what it means to inherit land that came from exploitation of and violence to aboriginal people. The terrible personal genealogy of that history is truly important. I love the trope of burning down structures embodying social conventions--the plot at the end is truly moving.
Lianeni
Great Australian story. Loved following the two generation's story as the complete story same together. Great Australian writer and will be reading more