The Landscape of Desire
Scribe, $29.95 pb, 288 pp
For many Australians, the Burke and Wills odyssey is a sketchy episode in our history. For Kevin Rabalais, a recent immigrant to this country from New Orleans, the fragments of the story were obviously an intriguing premise for a novel. His first novel, The Landscape of Desire, retraces this expedition and the later one led by Howitt that set out to find the missing explorers. The strange thing is that the author does not approach his work as historical fiction, but as literary fiction.