The Swan Book is set in the future, with Aboriginals still living under the Intervention in the north, in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change. It follows the life of a mute young woman called Oblivia from the displaced community where she lives in a hulk, in a swamp filled with rusting boats and thousands of black swans, to her marriage to Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, and her elevation to the position of First Lady, confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city.
The Swan Book has all the qualities which made Wright's previous novel, Carpentaria, a prize-winning best-seller. It offers an intimate awareness of the realities facing Aboriginal people; the wild energy and humour in her writing finds hope in the bleakest situations; and the remarkable combination of storytelling elements, drawn from myth and legend and fairy tale.
Alexis Wright is a member of the Waanyi nation of the southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria and a current resident of Eltham, Victoria. Her books include Grog War, a study of alcohol abuse in Tennant Creek, and the novels Plains of Promise, and Carpentaria, which won the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Victorian and Queensland Premiers’ Awards and the ALS Gold Medal, and was published in the US, UK, China, Italy, France, Spain and Poland. She is a Distinguished Fellow in the University of Western Sydney’s Writing and Society Research Centre.