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Between the Covers Podcast

Alexis Wright : Praiseworthy

Today’s guest is one of the most important and celebrated writers in Australia today, Alexis Wright. We look together at the ways Wright reshapes the novel form to honor Aboriginal notions of story, of time, and of scale. To find a different sound and voice for the novel, one that is multiple and collective. both ancestral and visionary, one that invites us to walk back into relationship with other beings and the land itself, and shows us where we are headed when we don’t. Her latest novel Praiseworthy is set in a world like ours, of extreme weather events, of unchecked white supremacy, of the inexorable pull toward assimilation, erasure and  the demanding present-tense of the internet. But the book is also one of aboriginal invention, adaptation, and vision, a novel of both biting humor and wisdom, as people, in the face of it all, search for Aboriginal sovereignty.

For the bonus audio archive Alexis reads a favorite poem of hers by Bei Dao which joins an immense archive of supplemental material—readings, craft talks, long-form conversations with translators—from everyone from Layli Long Soldier to Dionne Brand, Naomi Klein to Richard Powers. You can find out more about the bonus audio archive and the many other potential benefits of joining the Between the Covers community as a listener-supporter at the show’s Patreon page.

Finally, here is the Bookshop corresponding to today’s episode.