Growing up in suburban Perth in the 1920s, the two Durack girls were fascinated by tales of the pioneering past of their father and grandfather overlanding from Queensland in the 1880s and setting up four vast cattle stations in the remote north. A year spent together on the stations in their early twenties ignited in the sisters a lifelong love of the Kimberley, along with a growing unease about the situation of the Aboriginal people employed there. Through war, love affairs, children and eventual old age, the Duracks continued to write and paint; their closely intertwined creative lives always shaped by the enduring power of the Kimberley region. With unprecedented access to hundreds of private family letters, unpublished memoirs, diaries and family papers, Brenda Niall gets to the heart of a uniquely Australian story that spans the twentieth century. (Publisher.)
'Brenda Niall has produced a graceful and perceptive biography of two extraordinary creative women. She treads carefully through the minefield of controversies about their family's exploitation of Aboriginal labour, as well as their own interventions in indigenous art and politics. Her brief portraits of other members of the family, especially the two brothers who dedicated their lives to improving the land up north and their Lear-like father, are an additional bonus of this absorbing book.' Australian Book Review
An introduction -- 1. Beginnings -- 2. Ivanhoe and Argyle -- 3. Love and marriage -- 4. Wartime -- 5. Homes and heartlands -- 6. Broome -- 7. "Kings in grass castles" -- 8. A place of her own -- 9. Other people's books -- 10. 'We lose everything that we belong' -- 11. The making of Eddie Burrup -- 12. Returning north.
Includes bibliographical references and index.