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Poor Fellow, My Country

by Xavier Herbert

In Poor Fellow My Country, Xavier Herbert has returned to that region made peculiarly his own in Capricornia, Northern Australia. Ranging over a period of some six years, the story is set during the late 1930s and early 1940s; but it is not so much a tale of this period as Herbert’s analysis (and indictment) of the steps by which we came to the Australia of today. Capturing the Spirit Of The Land, Herbert has paralleled an intimate personal narrative with a tale of approaching war.

Winner of the 1975 Miles Franklin Literary Award

‘Poor Fellow My Country is an Australian classic, perhaps THE Australian classic’ – The Times Literary Supplement

#63 in Australia’s Top 100 Books you Can’t Put Down

About Xavier Herbert

Xavier Herbert was born in Port Hedland, WA, in 1901. He was educated there and in Fremantle, qualifying as a pharmacist. After World War I he travelled in Australia, reaching Darwin in 1927. There he worked as a railway fettler and visited the South Pacific, experiences that went towards his first novel, Capricornia. He continued to travel, both overseas and within Australia, until in 1946 he settled near Cairns with his wife Sadie Norden. He combined writing with a variety of casual occupations. Capricornia was first published in 1938 and won the Sesquicentenary literary competition in the same year. He won the Miles Franklin Award for Poor Fellow My Country which was published in 1975. His other work includes Seven Emus (1959), Soldiers' Women (1961), Larger Than Life (1963) and Disturbing Element (1963). Xavier Herbert died in 1984.


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