Lia Hills Allen & Unwin

A stunning literary debut that takes the reader into the mysteries and truths that lie at the heart of our country. When Saul learns that his oldest friend Jed has died after returning from a remote Aboriginal community, he goes in search of answers. His only lead is Jed’s ex-girlfriend, Nara, a Pitjantjatjara woman. Saul eventually finds Nara in Ininiyingi, a remote community full of extraordinary characters: Nara’s son, Roopie; Apu, her father and a healer; and Thaddeus, a white man, half-hermit half-prophet. Saul and Nara struggle to find a way to grieve Jed’s death and in the process Saul discovers a secret that will challenge everything he’s come to believe about Jed’s life. He also discovers a new possibility: of transformative engagement with both the desert and its Indigenous inhabitants that leads to a greater understanding of belonging and place. Lyrical, searching and wise, The Crying Place is an outstanding read.