The Swan Book

The Swan Book

3.33 (695 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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The Swan Book is set in the future, with Aboriginals still living under the Intervention in the north, in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change. It follows the life of a mute teenager called Oblivia, the victim of gang-rape by petrol-sniffing youths, from the displaced community where she lives in a hulk, in a swamp filled with rusting boats, and thousands of black swans driven from other parts of the country, to her marriage to Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, and her elevation to the position of First Lady, confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city.

The Swan Book has all the qualities which made Wright's previous novel, Carpentaria, a prize-winning bestseller. It offers an intimate awareness of the realities facing Aboriginal people; the wild energy and humour in her writing finds hope in the bleakest situations; and the remarkable combination of storytelling elements, drawn from myth and legend and fairy tale, has Oblivia Ethylene in the company of amazing characters like Aunty Bella Donna of the Champions, the Harbour Master, Big Red and the Mechanic, a talking monkey called Rigoletto, three genies with doctorates, and throughout, the guiding presence of swans.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 126 x 198 x 23mm | 277g
  • Constable
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1472120574
  • 9781472120571
  • 17,996

Review quote

Astonishingly inventive * The Oprah Magazine * Rich with allegory and symbolism, this wild, explosive story blends the myths and legends of numerous cultures in a dystopian near future ... profound ... Significant and contemporary * Booklist * [A] bruising, beautiful, brutal narrative ... a bitter, lovely and tragic book * Australian Book Review * This is not myth as Western culture understands it: not an imagined dimension, but a literal if incorporeal one that bisects and animates the physical world; it makes for marvellous theatre * London Review of Books * One of the most beautiful, furious and urgent novels to be published [in Australia] in recent years * The Australian * This is the saddest love story I have ever read ... Like the best fiction, it is excessive, impossible to contain in any review * Sydney Review of Books *
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About Alexis Wright

Alexis Wright is a member of the Waanyi nation of the southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Her books include Grog War, a study of alcohol abuse in Tennant Creek, and the novels Plains of Promise, and Carpentaria, which won the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Victorian and Queensland Premiers' Awards and the ALS Gold Medal, and was published in the US, UK, China, Italy, France, Spain and Poland. She is a Distinguished Fellow in the University of Western Sydney's Writing and Society Research Centre.
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Rating details

695 ratings
3.33 out of 5 stars
5 21% (149)
4 26% (182)
3 27% (188)
2 14% (100)
1 11% (76)
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