Master of the Ghost Dreaming

Narogin Mudrooroo, Author, Mudrooroo Narogin, Author, Mudrooroo, Author Angus & Robertson Publishers $10 (148p) ISBN 978-0-207-16952-6
Mudrooroo, who in 1965 with Wild Cat Falling (under the name Colin Johnson) became the first Aboriginal writer to have a novel published in Australia, now offers a coruscatingly brilliant vision of life among that nation's indigenous peoples shortly after white colonization. Jangamuttuk is an aging Aborigine shaman whose people have been relocated to an island off the Australian coast under the control of a former bricklayer turned missionary. Jangamuttuk helps them come to terms with the invaders' presence and, at the same time, offers them a restorative vision of community by entering into ``the dreaming,'' a magical time every bit as real as conventional reality. The author skillfully draws parallels between the culture of the Aborigines and that of Fada and Mada (as the missionary and his wife are known) while at the same time showing the conflict between them. Aboriginal resistance grows, climaxing in a gripping maelstrom in the dream time. After Fada and Mada flee the island, leaving it in the hands of their child, the morose and infantile Sonny, Jangamuttuk and his people escape in a scene that is at once magical and realistic. Alluring and enchanting, the volume will capture readers from its first page. Mudrooroo shows once again that truth may sleep but it never dies. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
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