With vivid and passionate descriptions of her beloved outback, Mary Durack brings alive the spirit of our country and those who have shaped it.
Pilgrimage is an unforgettable journey through the vibrant landscape and life of Mary Durack, from her early writings in the 1930s through to the mid-1980s. Though best known for two family histories that have become literary classics, Kings in Grass Castles and Sons in the Saddle, Mary Durack's great talent extended to fiction, short stories, drama and verse. This long-awaited collection of her favourite works, including material never before published, provides a rare glimpse into Mary's extraordinary experiences, from her Kimberley days on the family properties and her time with her own family in Broome, to her city home in Perth.
Mary writes with insight, compassion and humour of outback legends, and the many bush characters whom she knew and loved - of their far reaching wisdom and struggle to adapt to a changing land. Pilgrimage is an enduring record of a way of life that is fast disappearing and a testament to an exceptional writer.
In the early 90s, before her death, Mary started work on this collection and, in fact, drafted a proposed introduction. Mary's thoughts have been respected by her daughter Patsy who, along with Patsy's daughter Naomi, has continued this project - but Patsy has also included a few more controversial pieces that her mother might have left out. The pieces include the oft-anthologised 3,000 word chapter known as Promised Land from Kings in Grass Castles and a celebrated chapter from her recently reissued novel Keep Him My Country.
An added bonus is the inclusion of a complete bibliography of Mary's work as well as a number of her poems which will be of interest to Durack scholars and fans. This volume will appeal to lovers of Australiana, the Kimberley, the Durack saga and Mary's writing. Inevitably she touches on the respect and compassion she has for aboriginal culture and her belief in aboriginal land rights - an aspect which gives added interest today. The writings are also a great snapshot of a former time.