Alice Springs (Eleanor Hogan, NewSouth)
This is no grey nomad’s guide to the red centre. In NewSouth’s latest city book, author Eleanor Hogan writes about her experiences living and working in the Aboriginal health services industry in Alice Springs, as well as drawing on media reports and interviews with some of the locals. It is well written, well researched and heartbreaking. Despite the fact that the author’s experiences are from the early 2000s, many things haven’t changed. The reality of life in Alice Springs, which has a high Indigenous population whose relationship with country and ‘city’ continues to put pressure on their day-to-day lives, is at the core of this book. The author also offers a peek (and it is a very narrow peek) into other communities in Alice Springs, including the gay and lesbian community. It is, however, that hard-to-explain and harder-to-change-or-ignore social phenomenon of Alice Springs that features most predominantly. This book will be of interest to anyone concerned about the challenges facing Indigenous Australians in this town.
Bev Ellis is a long-time bookseller living in Alice Springs