Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Carpentaria

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Carpentaria

A Novel

By Alexis Wright

Carpentaria
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2009,
    528 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2010,
    528 pages.

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About this Book

Beyond the Book

Aboriginal Land Rights

aboriginal facesCarpentaria is essentially a novel about the clash of cultures, told from the perspective of the Aboriginal people of Australia. Just as the book illustrates, there is still debate in Australia about who can legitimately claim rights to the land - indigenous Australians, or descendants of the original European settlers. From the earliest contact with British settlers through the reeducation campaigns of the late twentieth century, the Aboriginal peoples have been effectively marginalized from democratic society.

As did many colonial regimes, the British colonizers of Australia viewed the land in their newly "discovered" country as belonging to no one, and thus open to appropriation. This in spite of aboriginal patrimonies that stretched back many thousands of years. After centuries of what amounts to legally sanctioned theft, the Australian government changed its laws to recognize a form of Aboriginal legal custom known ...

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