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Kim Mahood

Kim Mahood

Kim Mahood is the author of two non-fiction books: Position Doubtful (Scribe 2016) and the award-winning Craft for a Dry Lake, (Random House/Transworld, 2000). She wrote the much-circulated essay ‘Kartiya are like Toyotas – white workers on Australia’s cultural frontier’, and co-edited Desert Lake: art, science and stories from Paruku, (CSIRO, 2013). Her work is published in art, literary, and current affairs journals.

Kim Mahood reviews 'Telling Tennant’s Story: The strange career of the great Australian silence' by Dean Ashenden

May 2022, no. 442 23 April 2022
In Telling Tennant’s Story, Dean Ashenden gives a lucid, succinct, eminently readable account of the reasons why Australia as a nation continues to struggle with how to acknowledge and move beyond its past. Travelling north to visit Tennant Creek for the first time since leaving it as a boy in 1955, Ashenden is provoked to question the absence of shared histories on the monuments and tourist inf ... (read more)

Diary | August 2001 – Kim Mahood

August 2001, no. 233 01 August 2001
Sunday morning at Balgo in the Kimberley, the wind ripping past in a cold gale of dust and smoke. Wirrimanu, the name of this place, means ‘dirty wind’. White plastic shopping bags pulse and inflate, struggling against the twigs and wire that restrain them. My view down the magnificent plunge of the pound is intercepted by the gridded weld-mesh cage enclosing the verandah, and again by the thr ... (read more)

Kim Mahood reviews 'Into the Loneliness: The unholy alliance of Ernestine Hill and Daisy Bates' by Eleanor Hogan

April 2021, no. 430 23 March 2021
Into the Loneliness is the story of two Australian women, opposites in temperament, who eschewed the conventional roles expected of women of their eras, lived unconventional lives, and produced books that influenced the culture and imagination of twentieth-century Australia. The book focuses on their complicated friendship, and on Ernestine Hill’s role in assisting Daisy Bates to produce the man ... (read more)

Kim Mahood reviews 'Tjanimaku Tjukurpa: How one young man came good' by the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council

January–February 2021, no. 428 16 December 2020
At first glance, the slender paperback, with its cover drawing of dark-skinned men and boys, looks like a conventional illustrated children’s book. A few pages in, it’s clear that Tjanimaku Tjukurpa is something else. The version I have is in Pitjantjatjara and English. There is also an edition in Ngaanyatjarra and English. To anyone familiar with remote Aboriginal communities, the illustratio ... (read more)

'The Night Parrot: It’s a whitefella thing' by Kim Mahood

October 2019, no. 415 25 September 2019
If you google the words ‘Night Parrot’, they come up with a companion set of adjectives, the most common being ‘elusive’, followed by ‘mysterious’, ‘secretive’, ‘enigmatic’, ‘mythical’, and, until recently, ‘thought-to-be-extinct’. Apart from anecdotal claims, there were no confirmed sightings of the Night Parrot from 1912, when one was captured and shot, until a dead p ... (read more)

Kim Mahood reviews 'Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering ancient Australia' by Billy Griffiths

April 2018, no. 400 22 March 2018
In Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering ancient Australia, Billy Griffiths describes the process of imagining the past through the traces and sediments of archaeology as ‘an act of wonder – a dilation of the commonplace – that challenges us to infer meaning from the cryptic residue of former worlds’. In his endeavour to infer meaning from this cryptic residue, Griffiths begins his wondering by s ... (read more)

Jolley Prize 2013 (Shortlist): 'The Accident' by Kim Mahood

October 2013, no. 355 26 September 2013
Later, Katherine seemed to remember a run of light around the box, the way desert air shimmers on the horizon. What she did remember clearly were the two women walking, flat-footed and rolling-hipped, dark limbs like animated hieroglyphs inscribing the space through which they moved, an inflated plastic bag capering at their heels like a family pet. It was one of those ubiquitous white supermarket ... (read more)

Kim Mahood reviews 'Desert Channels: The Impulse to Conserve' edited by Libby Robin, Chris Dickman, and Mandy Martin

May 2011, no. 331 21 April 2011
In recent months a significant part of Australia has been subject to deluge and flood. As the continent recharges its waterways and water tables, we are like an ant nest into which a curious child has thrust a hose – rushing about rescuing and shoring up, patching and rebuilding, behaving as if this upheaval is an aberration, and as if building towns and cities on flood plains is sensible. ... (read more)