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About the book
  • Published: 15 November 2013
  • ISBN: 9781743484777
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

A Country Too Far: Teacher's Edition


Formats & editions


'A fine book like A Country Too Far, one that inspires both compassion and anger, can change the way people think and act, and encourage them to expect more from themselves and their nation.' Sydney Morning Herald

'I don't think I've seen a more impressive collection of Australian writers in a single book.' Stephen Romei, The Australian
One of the central moral issues of our time is the question of asylum seekers, arguably the most controversial subject in Australia today. In this landmark anthology, twenty-seven of Australia's finest writers have focused their intelligence and creativity on the theme of the dispossessed, bringing a whole new perspective of depth and truthfulness to what has become a fraught, distorted war of words. This anthology confirms that the experience of seeking asylum – the journeys of escape from death, starvation, poverty or terror to an imagined paradise – is part of the Australian mindset and deeply embedded in our culture and personal histories.
A Country Too Far is a tour de force of stunning fiction, memoir, poetry and essays. Edited by award-winning writers Rosie Scott and Tom Keneally, and featuring contributors including Anna Funder, Christos Tsiolkas, Elliot Perlman, Gail Jones, Raimond Gaita, Les Murray, Rodney Hall and Geraldine Brooks, this rich anthology is by turns thoughtful, fierce, evocative, lyrical and moving, and always extraordinarily powerful.

A Country Too Far makes an indispensable contribution to the national debate.

'There is a passion about the book, and a moral, emotional and artistic synergy that makes for deeply satisfying reading. It is as if the contributors have themselves felt dispossessed, not of their land, but of the idea of their own country, and have seized the opportunity to reclaim it . . . A fine book like A Country Too Far, one that inspires both compassion and anger, can change the way people think and act, and encourage them to expect more from themselves and their nation.' Sydney Morning Herald

'A Country Too Far represents the varied and vibrant voice of writers speaking out as Australia contravenes its obligations to refugees. Its stories, poems, memoirs and essays collect their work into an eloquent refusal of silence in the face of, as John Tranter writes: 'this/fetch of disparate peoples/assigned to come possessionless into massive/light.' Weekend Australian

'Brilliant testimony from some of our finest writers.' Anne Deveson
'The strength of the book is its range of genres and depth of perspective . . . a book to pass on to others who don't necessarily share its perspective or those who do but need sustenance. But it's also a book for holding onto and dipping into again . . . A Country Too Far is part of a literary tradition in which authors attempt to face the social context in which they live . . . to resist political word games with other words.' The Guardian

'With asylum seekers high on Australia's moral, social and political agenda, you'll want to make room on your reading list for A Country Too Far . . . [these] 27 Australian poets, authors and journalists . . . have thoughtfully and beautifully expressed their ideas and views on the complexities of the refugee issue.' InStyle

'A stunning anthology and searing moral work that beautifully gives voice to the voiceless without preaching at any point . . . In a political era where there appears to be no bottom to the barrel of immigration policy, A Country Too Far is timely, important and wise.' readings.com.au

'Don't buy a copy of this book. Buy two. Send one to a federal politician.' Newcastle Herald
'A Country Too Far, co-edited by Rosie Scott and Tom Keneally, is a timely attempt to set the record straight about asylum seekers in Australia, to counter the negative media propaganda and to protest at the government's treatment of them. Featuring some of Australia's finest writers, it is an immensely readable, humane collection of fiction, memoir, poetry and essays.' Lucy Popescu, huffingtonpost.co.uk

'Profoundly important. It deftly and eloquently touches on so many of the key tensions and issues in this debate . . . We can only hope that this collection is widely read and that it stirs within us a desire to reclaim the compassion that we once had and demand from our leaders a more humane policy.' Sydney Review of Books

'So disturbing and awakening, it is capable of changing even the most firmly cemented opinions.' New Standpoints

  • Pub date: 15 November 2013
  • ISBN: 9781743484777
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the Authors

Tom Keneally

Thomas Keneally was born in 1935 and his first novel was published in 1964. Since then he has written a considerable number of novels and non-fiction works. His novels include The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Schindler's List and The People's Train. He has won the Miles Franklin Award, the Booker Prize, the Los Angeles Times Prize, the Mondello International Prize and has been made a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library, a Fellow of the American Academy, recipient of the University of California gold medal, and is now the subject of a 55 cent Australian stamp.

He has held various academic posts in the United States, but lives in Sydney.

Rosie Scott

Rosie Scott is an internationally published and award-winning writer who has published six novels and a collection each of short stories, poems and essays. Her play was the basis for a film which won several international awards.

She and Thomas Keneally co-edited a PEN anthology of writers in detention, earning them a nomination for the Human Rights Medal and helping to gain PEN the Community Human Rights Award. She was appointed permanent member of the Council of Australian Society of Authors, is a recipient of the Sydney PEN Award and a Lifetime Member of PEN. She is a co-founder of Women for Wik. In 2012 she was nominated as one of the 100 most influential people in Sydney in Education – for her mentoring, teaching and the work she has done in public education about asylum seekers.

Her novel Faith Singer was on the list of 50 Essential Reads by Contemporary Authors compiled by the Orange Prize committee, the Guardian and the Hay Festival.


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