A Country Too Far by Thomas Keneally & Rosie Scott
‘If the truth is silenced, lies can fill the space,’ says Geraldine Brooks in A Country Too Far, a stunning anthology and searing moral work that beautifully gives voice to the voiceless without preaching at any point. This work feels like a voice in the wilderness until you realise that you wish you could have said it that way.
The fiction immerses us in the sorry world of seeking asylum and affirms our commonality and humanity. This is contrasted with the essays that decry the division and heartlessness of the way we treat refugees. But the unanimous call for compassion and the centrality of love is really what ties these writings together. For that reason alone, it is worth owning a copy.
The contributors include some of our best-known writers (Les Murray, Tom Keneally, Anna Funder, Christos Tsiolkas, Geraldine Brooks) but I really enjoyed finding gems among some of the lesser-known writers. Judith Rodriguez’s poetry was a joy to read, even though the subject is no joyous matter, and I found Eva Hornung’s work put cracks in my heart.
In a political era where there appears to be no bottom to the barrel of immigration policy, A Country Too Far is timely, important and wise.
Andrew Carter works as a bookseller at Readings Carlton.