book cover of Poor Fellow My Country

Poor Fellow My Country

A novel by

"In Poor Fellow My Country, Xavier Herbert has returned to that region made peculiarly his own in Capricornia, Northern Australia.
 Ranging over a period of some six years, the story is set during the late 1930s and early 1940s; but it is not so much a tale of this period as Herbert's analysis (and indictment) of the steps by which we came to the Australia of today.
 Capturing the Spirit Of The Land, Herbert has paralleled an intimate personal narrative with a tale of approaching war.
 "Prindy, the young quarter-caste Aborigine identifies with Bob Wirridirridi the witch-doctor and the Rainbow Snake Cult. He grows from adolescence to manhood through a series of events, some of which are hilariously comic and others tragically violent, but he does not lose sight of his final goal: that of initiation into full manhood in the Cult of the Rainbow Snake.
 His natural grandfather Jeremy Delacy, The Scrub Bull, infuriates people with his attitudes, especially that of his apparent lack of interest in influencing Prindy. At times he is harsh and brutal, but he is also shown to love with rare compassion. Rifkah, the Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, who eventually identifies with the Aborigines and becomes Prindy's tribal mother, is brought into conflict with Aelfreda Candlemas the reformer and writer who tries to make a superman of Jeremy and in her failure turns from scorching love to violent rejection. The book will long remain in the memory and is undoubtedly Herbert's supreme contribution to Australian literature."

Genre: General Fiction

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