Winner of the Stella Prize 2018
Miles Franklin-winning author Alexis Wright has crafted a memoir in story form of the charismatic Indigenous leader Tracker Tilmouth, and an epic portrait of a important period in the political life of Australia, reminiscent in its scale and intimacy of the work of Nobel Prize-winning Russian author Svetlana Alexievich.
The legendary Indigenous activist ‘Tracker’ Tilmouth died in Darwin in 2015. Taken from his family as a child and brought up on a mission on Croker Island, he returned home to transform the world of Aboriginal politics. He worked tirelessly for Aboriginal self-determination, creating opportunities for land use and economic development in his many roles, including Director of the Central Land Council. He was a visionary and a projector of ideas, renowned for his irreverent humour and his colourful anecdotes.
The memoir was composed by Wright from interviews with Tracker before he died, as well as with his family, friends and colleagues, weaving his and their stories together into a book that is as much a tribute to the role played by storytelling in contemporary Aboriginal life as it is to the legacy of a remarkable man.