Throughout a distinguished career, Alexis Wright has significantly enriched the country’s understanding of Aboriginal cultures. Her newest work – composed entirely of first-person testimony – marks a departure from acclaimed fiction such as the Miles Franklin–winning Carpentaria. It tells the true story of Tracker Tilmouth, a member of the Stolen Generation who fought tirelessly for self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In conversation with The Australian’s Chief Literary Critic Geordie Williamson, Alexis explains how the charismatic political thinker inspired Alexis’ return to non-fiction.

Alexis Wright (Australian)

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Alexis Wright is a member of the Waanyi nation of the Gulf of Carpentaria. She is an author and essayist writing in fiction and non-fiction. Wright has written widely on Indigenous rights and has organised two successful Indigenous Constitutional Conventions in Central Australia, Today We Talk About Tomorrow and the Kalkaringi Convention. Her recent publications include the collective memoir Tracker, The Swan Book, which was awarded the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal in 2014, and Carpentaria, which was awarded the 2007 Miles Franklin Award. She is the Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature at the University of Melbourne.

Geordie Williamson (Australian)

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Geordie Williamson is chief literary critic of The Australian and a former publisher of Picador Australia. He is the author of The Burning Library, an essay collection on neglected figures in Australian Literature, and his new book Lairds of Rapa Nui, about Scottish merchants who owned Easter Island, is forthcoming.