Alice Springs (book review)


Alice Springs
Eleanor Hogan
NewSouth Publishing 2012
A book review by Danny Yee © 2013
Written by an outsider who lived and worked there for six years, Alice Springs captures something of the strangeness of a city which is far more foreign to most Australians than Auckland or London or San Francisco. It consists of largely independent stories that mix travel writing and reportage, loosely structured around the seasonal cycle of the year and focusing on Alice Spring’s social geography and its indigenous Aboriginal population.

It is drug and crime and health problems that most often make the news here, and those are central to Hogan’s account too. Her experience left her “fairly disenchanted with left-wing politics, particularly its current capacity to deliver to Aboriginal people”; her stories highlight the complexities of the problems and the absence of any easy solutions. (She is up front about her own position, as a middle-aged white woman working for an Indigenous policy organisation, and always makes her own connection to her subject material clear, but she refrains from inflicting details of her life on us.)….


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