Peter Carey on His New Novel, "A Long Way from Home"



well this seems to be a story about a car race and indeed it is a story about a car race and when I remember as a child erase all around Australia with the model cars that we we went down to the shops in went to work in and suddenly these cars were gonna go over the roughest roads on earth and I think this was probably the longest and roughest you know car race of that sort on earth well that's how I researched it and just thought about it and watch the old newsreels I realized that this is nineteen fifty or five in Australia or watching these cars go this incredible terrain and really this is sort of white people mapping their country or peeing on the borders if you like they were completely ignorant of another sort of map which is much older sort of maps black people actually wouldn't call them maps at all but I was thinking about the very ancient culture that these cars were going over which is over a whole series of networks of culturally vital storylines ceremonies religious rituals mixtures mixtures of instructive things about water holes but also about the creation of the earth and I looked at these cars and the old newsreels and I thought you guys wouldn't know if you were driving up the aisle of a Cathedral and in fact they often were and so this I've been seeing all my life that the most only really important story about Australia is that it's a land taken from people who lived there for fifty thousand years and had a dense stable culture that we white people stealing it didn't understand at all I thought I will write a novel about these two sets of maps and about some white people not unlike my family in many respects people I knew and loved and have no idea of where they're living and where what the history of their land is and all the damage and pain and murder that's been done to get to where they are and I wanted to do this not in a min there's some hard truths in this but as I said to my wife when it was finished it was sort of like it should be like a laugh a minute all the way to the heart of darkness and I hope that that's what it is it's not a laughs and never trivial but and I think they might be important

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