The Roving Party
Allen & Unwin, $27.99 pb, 282 pp, 9781742376530
Stories of the impact of European discovery, exploration, invasion, and settlement on Australia are naturally a source of fascination to novelists. The microcosm of the island of Tasmania, with its cruel yet beautiful landscape and its unforgiving weather, offers these stories with a special kind of eerie horror. Against this setting, the stories emerge both in concert and in counterpoint, describing the stains which forever disfigure and haunt the place. Tasmania was less of a frontier in the American sense of the word than it was a dead end.