‘The Drover’s Wife’ was one of the first stories I read when I arrived in Australia. I was living in the bush then, in hard beautiful country, and though my difficulties were First World Problems I shared the Wife’s nostalgia for nights in comfortable hotels, reliable transport, medical services. I did admire the story, though its casual racism disturbed me; but I remain surprised by the hold that story has on our culture. She just won’t fade away, that exhausted woman, or her dog, or her sons (forget the daughters, as Lawson himself did); they keep re-emerging.
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