In 1913, when she was 54 years old, Daisy Bates went to live in the deserts of South Australia. And there she stayed, with occasional interruptions, for almost 30 years. She left a detailed record of her life in her letters, her published articles, her book THE PASSING OF THE ABORIGINES, and in notes scribbled on paper bags, old railway timetables and even scraps of newspaper. But very little of what this strange woman tells about herself is true. For her there were no boundaries separating experience from imagination; she inhabited a world filled with events that could not have taken place, people she had never met. In DAISY BATES IN THE DESERT Julia Blackburn explores the ancient and desolate landscape where Mrs Bates says she was most happy. There are meetings with the Aborigines and whites who knew her, and slowly the facts of her life are allowed to emerge. . . .
First published in 1994.