The Mountain

Drusilla Modjeska

The Mountain
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The Mountain

Drusilla Modjeska

Read Drusilla Modjeska’s interview with Geordie Williamson about The Mountain.

“The Mountain is a truly remarkable book - lush and fascinating, it brings to life the troubled history of Papua New Guinea and the ties that link us to it. I recommend it unreservedly.” - Mark Rubbo, Readings Managing Director

An Oxford ethnologist, Leonard, travels to Papua in 1968 with his young Dutch wife, Rika, to take up a post at the university, and to further his research by filming the local Papuans in a remote village. Conservative and well-meaning, Leonard wants his camera to capture moments but not to effect any change. But this is Papua at the dawning of Independence and everything is change.


Rika forms a close knit circle of friends within the university and the town. Laedi, a hafkast, and wife of the ambitious Don; Martha, a student trying to find her own identity; and Milton, a writer who wants to emulate his hero, the author James Baldwin. But it is the two Papuan brothers Aaron and Jacob, whom Rika is most drawn to. Thirty years later, a young art historian, Jericho, travels from London to Sydney to ask Martha to write the story of his parents and his heritage. Coming home to Papua New Guinea, Jericho finds that he must reconcile his own history with the lure of the Papuan mountains and love.

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