Other People’s Country by Lee Fox
I seem to remember some controversy about this book when it was first released, but with the passage of time all controversy has faded. However, this is certainly a book that will cause the reader to re-examine his/her attitude to modern Aboriginal society.
Lola is very happy when her mother is appointed to a new job, store manager in Wandana a remote Aboriginal community in Central Australia. The new adventure is very exciting until the reality of the job hits. Lola is stunned by the school, shocked by the store and bewildered by the whole society. When the threat of violence forces the family to consider leaving this job long before the contract time is up, Lola is confronted with a difficult decision.
This book pulls no punches when it comes to portraying the poverty and other difficulties faced by Aboriginal people today. However, I didn’t find the portrayal at all sympathetic. In fact I felt that the author was indicating that any possibility of reconciliation between the white and Aboriginal societies is unlikely if not impossible. I felt that the book was very negative.
But then I saw the book listed as recommended reading on an Aboriginal culture website. Go figure…