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Front Cover
Vintage Books, 2007 - Anthropologists - 218 pages
In the remote outback of Western Australia during World War II, English anthropologist Nicholas Keene and his wife, Stella, raise a lonely child, Perdita. Her upbringing is far from ordinary: in a shack in the wilderness, with a distant father burying himself in books and an unstable mother whose knowledge of Shakespeare forms the backbone of the girl's limited education. Emotionally adrift, Perdita becomes friends with a deaf and mute boy, Billy, and an Aboriginal girl, Mary. Perdita and Mary come to call one another sister and to share a very special bond. They are content with life in this remote corner of the globe, until a terrible event lays waste to their lives. Through this exquisite story of Perdita's troubled childhood, Gail Jones explores the values of friendship, loyalty and sacrifice with a brilliance that has already earned her numerous accolades for her previous novels, DREAMS OF SPEAKING and SIXTY LIGHTS.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dalzan - LibraryThing

Summary: In the remote outback of North-west Australia, English anthropologist Nicholas Keene and his wife Stella raise a curious child, Perdita. Her childhood is far from ordinary; a shack in the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RidgewayGirl - LibraryThing

This is the story of Perdita Keene, the only child of two unsuitable parents, Nicholas, who is unhappy with being sent into the outback to research aboriginal culture instead of having a prestigious ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Gail Jones was born in 1955 in Harvey, Australia. She was educated at the University of Western Australia. She is Professor of Writing in the Writing and Society Research School at the University of Western Australia. She is the author of two short-story collections, and a critical monograph. Her novels include Black Mirror, Sixty Lights, Dreams of Speaking, Sorry, and A Guide to Berlin, which won the 2016 Colin Roderick Award and the HT Priestley Medal.

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