Review Blog

Mar 24 2020

Displaced, a rural life by John Kinsella

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Transit Lounge, 2020. ISBN: 9781925760477. 336pp.
This is a book written to plunge us into a place and a time, the 'now' in which Kinsella lives and writes with such passion. With such love for this planet and such despair springing from his dread, his fear is a terrible sense that we humans are simply destroying that which we love. He writes of what he envisages as the dreadful fate of Australia, with damage being done to the atmosphere, the earth, the seas, rivers, and the people who have lived in Australia for such an inconceivable number of years. We learn about what lies under the ground, on which we rely for fuel, that terrible product that, he writes, will destroy the Earth.
His brilliance lights this text in his understanding of how it all works, and his determination to communicate his fear of our failing to change, and the dreadful horrors that we have inflicted on the earth and its people. Poetic, lyrical and persuasive, Kinsella's writing grabs us and will not let go. Yet at the heart of his story is a pragmatism that underlies all that he posits, and indeed it is this which is so simple, yet he feels is so shunned or ignored by the peoples of the earth, or at least those who manage to dominate the world.
Pitched at all English-speaking adults of the world, although particularly focused on what it is possible to change in Australia, this testament to the beauty and complexity of the world, that are both endangered, could be adopted by adolescent students, who, if interested, may well be significant game-changers of the future. The possibilities for change are clearly well argued and the need is for action soon, and the potential for disaster clearly signified in this eloquent text.
Elizabeth Bondar

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