15 December, 2012
The Nargun and the Stars by Patricia Wrightson (1973)
Few books had as profound an impact on me when I was growing up. This haunting tale of a lonely boy discovering an ancient stone Nargun, a creature straight from Aboriginal mythology, on his uncle's rural property had me spellbound. It still does. Wrightson, who died in 2010, was criticised for using indigenous beings out of context, but what she was emphatically saying was that European mythology doesn't belong here - Australia has its own dragons and elves. And ever since I have viewed the bush through a different and wondrous lens.