The Drover's Wife

The Drover's Wife

by Leah Purcell

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 03/12/2019

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The Drover's Wife is utterly authentic, brilliantly plotted, thoroughly harrowing and entirely of our times exploring race, gender, violence and inheritance.

Deep in the heart of Australia’s high country, along an ancient, hidden track, lives Molly Johnson and her four surviving children, another on the way. Husband Joe is away months at a time droving livestock up north, leaving his family in the bush to fend for itself. Molly’s children are her world, and life is hard and precarious with only their dog, Alligator, and a shotgun for protection – but it can be harder when Joe’s around.

At just twelve years of age Molly’s eldest son Danny is the true man of the house, determined to see his mother and siblings safe – from raging floodwaters, hunger and intruders, man and reptile. Danny is mature beyond his years, but there are some things no child should see. He knows more than most just what it takes to be a drover’s wife.

One night under the moon’s watch, Molly has a visitor of a different kind – a black ‘story keeper’, Yadaka. He’s on the run from authorities in the nearby town, and exchanges kindness for shelter. Both know that justice in this nation caught between two worlds can be as brutal as its landscape. But in their short time together, Yadaka shows Molly a secret truth, and the strength to imagine a different path.

Full of fury and power, Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson is a brave reimagining of the Henry Lawson short story that has become an Australian classic. Brilliantly plotted, it is a compelling thriller of our pioneering past that confronts head-on issues of today: race, gender, violence and inheritance.

ISBN:
9780143791478
9780143791478
Category:
Film scripts & screenplays
Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
03-12-2019
Publisher:
PENGUIN BOOKS AUSTRALIA
Country of origin:
Australia
Pages:
288
Dimensions (mm):
234x154x25mm
Weight:
0.44kg
Leah Purcell

Leah Purcell is a multi award-winning playwright, actor, director, screenwriter and filmmaker. Indigenous and First Nation themes, characters and issues lie at the heart of all her work.

The Drover's Wife was first a play written by and starring Purcell, performed in 2017. It won the Victorian and New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards for Best Play, Best Book and the Prize for Literature; the Australian Writer's Guild Award for Best Play and Major Work; the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre; the Helpmann Award for Best Play and Best New Australian Work; and the Sydney-UNESCO City of Film Award.

Leah Purcell is currently at work on the feature film adaptation of The Drover's Wife, as writer, director and lead actor. She is a proud Goa-Gunggari-Wakka Wakka Murri woman from Queensland.

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