For the longest time, the Australia I knew was all myth. Early reading didn’t dispel this languid stereotype because part of that upbringing was made possible only by the claustrophobia of the culture itself. It was a narrow existence, filled with outback hardship or romance novels, bush memoirs (how embarrassing that I appear to have done the same thing) and writers from America or worse, England. In short, the authors I knew were not a representative sample of this country. This is not a problem if your range is bigger and broader, but to the extent that my range left my cultural Umwelt at all, it stopped at Not Without My Daughter. Life, then, is about pushing back the borders of our observable universe. Especially when such a quest reveals much about the place we call home.
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