Coonardoo

By Katharine Susannah Prichard,

Book cover of Coonardoo

Book description

Tells the story of Hugh Watt, heir to a cattle station in Australia who is trying to make it a successful ranch, and Coonardoo, his aborigine house slave.

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Why read it?

1 author picked Coonardoo as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Katharine Susannah Prichard was one of Australia’s prominent 20th-century novelists, controversial because of her Communism. But her 1929 novel Coonardoo was considered outrageous, not because of its class politics, so much as its daring to tell a story of interracial love. Set on a remote cattle station in northern Western Australia, Coonardoo presents the veiled love story of the white station owner and an exploited Aboriginal servant. To me, the love story is plausibly told through a focus on their childhood bonding and shared affinity for the land. The historical value of the book now—limited by its presentation of Indigenous…

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