Red Dirt Talking by Jacqueline Wright

Red Dirt Talking won the T.A.G. Hungerford Award and was long-listed for the Miles Franklin. These awards are well-deserved.

I didn’t find this an easy book to read. The sense of place is spot on given that the book is set through the build-up in the north-west of Western Australia. I live in the space and climate and Wright writes about it with beautiful attention to detail. 

My issue was with keeping check of the long list of characters, and actually caring about the main protagonist and narrator – an anthropology student from the city who I found frustrating and annoying. The second narrator – the local rubbish collector Maggot – was a lot more likeable and a wonderful spinner of stories.

My rating: 3.5 stars.

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