Perthward

Perthward

Perth

by David Whish-Wilson

NewSouth Publishing, $29.99 hb, 294 pp, 9781742233673

Anne Partlon

Anne Partlon

Anne Partlon is a West Australian writer who has contributed short stories, essays, and reviews to various journals, newspapers and...

By this contributor

Once regarded as a provincial backwater, Perth has been transformed by the latest mineral resources boom into the nation’s fastest-growing city. The world’s most isolated capital, it is also one of the most outward-looking: a land of ‘porous boundaries’ and endless possibilities, where time and distance are illusory, and the collective gaze of its citizens has, from the first, been resolutely fixed upon the future; and yet it remains a site of ‘great contradictions’. ‘Spacious yet claustrophobic’, open but secretive, it is a place where Georgian buildings sit alongside glass towers; where nostalgia for a ‘vanished frontier’ infects the prevailing mood of optimism; and where, in winter, even the iconic Swan River flows in two directions at once, the rainwater from the Darling Scarp washing seawards above the salty incoming tide beneath. Faced with these competing views, author David Whish-Wilson goes in search of the essential Perth and finds a people and a place shaped by ancient and modern forces.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Published in February 2014 no. 358

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.