47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
20 Years Old And Still Rocking,
This review is from: Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback (Paperback)
Who really knows why Robyn Davidson--a woman who describes herself in "Tracks" as a disaffected refugee of the superficiality of Sydney's and Melbourne's urban culture of the late 1970s--sold her belongings and trekked to Alice Springs, a tiny town nearly in the center of the Australian continent? Sure, plenty of us have trekked to Nowheresville in our youths, but from the first page of "Tracks," readers will immediately recognize that Davidson is not only leaving something, like Hemingway, she is searching for something as well. In light of a renewed interest in Aboriginal rights--and in the rights of Native Peoples everywhere on the planet--Davidson's seminal account of a grueling (and also rewarding) journey across one of the world's most forbidding wildernesses should prove to mainstream thinkers and commentators that Davidson had it right all along. Like Beryl Markham's "West With the Night," another account of a pioneering woman taking on what at the time was reserved for the so-called men of the world, Davidson's "Tracks" is not only filled with useful information (did you know "whoosh!", a word almost everyone in the English-speaking world, is actually an Afghani word that means "sit!"?), it is also one of the most readable adventure and travel books written in many years.
Davidson's commentary on Aussie society is sometimes as snide as she wants it to be, but it's always on the beam, and it's all telling too: Her observations of Aboriginal life, her plaintive advocacy for better treatment for a valuable human resource hidden away in the Southern Hemisphere and her descriptions of how Aboriginal religious beliefs are idiosyncratic to both the terrain and the atmosphere are things never written before, at least not without the help of abstractions and scientific jargon. In essence, then, this is a personal account, and a truthful one. Davidson was a young woman when she wrote "Tracks," but her wisdom at the time of writing was far beyond her years.
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Initial post: Dec 4, 2013 7:24:08 AM PST
30 years now :)
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