Revenge Lit and the Mummy-Western

In Australia, stupidity rises, totalitarianism descends. Between them, the judges of the prestigious premiers’ literary awards in Victoria and New South Wales gave prize money of $165,000 to honour a play script in which the central male Aboriginal character is so phoney he confuses European and Australian trees: “We start our walkabout just before the leaves start fallin’.” The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell, a fifty-six-page play published by Currency Press, won the country’s richest literary award, the $100,000 Prize for Literature in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, and also the Prize for Drama, $25,000. At the New South Wales…

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