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The Resource Natives and exotics : [a novel], Jane Alison

Natives and exotics : [a novel], Jane Alison

Label
Natives and exotics : [a novel]
Title
Natives and exotics
Title remainder
[a novel]
Statement of responsibility
Jane Alison
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Review
  • Adult/High School –Humankind's attempts to subdue nature are at the heart of this story about one family's experiences with “civilizing” the world. Alice, nine, travels to Ecuador with her mother and stepfather, one of a slew of families who congregate there in the 1970s to help American oil companies reap the benefits of oil exports. Largely undeveloped, the country is thrown into political and social upheaval as the U.S. holds out the carrot of progress through industrialization. The story then flashes back to 1929 Australia, where Alice's grandmother Violet is attempting to make a life for herself and her family in rough and uncultivated Adelaide. Alison includes marvelous details about running a home, from the Coolgardie Safe that keeps milk and butter cool to the hoarding of water. Pregnant with Alice's uncle-to-be, Violet ponders the question of whether humans can ever consider themselves native to an area. In the final flashback, her great-great-grandfather sails in 1822 from Scotland to the Portuguese Azores to begin a life in the citrus business. He is troubled by the prevailing European mentality that calls for clearing off “natives” and anything else that stands in the way of progress. However, he finds himself an unwitting participant in the game of reshaping the world to Western standards. Although the author's ambitious undertaking makes the flow disjointed at times, the theme is thought-provoking, and the language is spare and beautiful. Those curious about the history of European exploration and colonization will enjoy Alison's perspective.–Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Library System, VA --Kim Dare (Reviewed September 1, 2005) (School Library Journal, vol 51, issue 9, p244)
  • Generations of an Australian family are linked across time and space by their relationships to a changing world and a common search for a true home in a tender, lyrical novel that explores the consequences of so-called "progress." Nine-year-old Alice is brought to Ecuador by her mother and U.S. diplomat stepfather. Alison (The Marriage of the Sea ) richly, precisely describes how the beautiful landscape entrances Alice, even as the sterile, rootless diplomatic life keeps the heart of her host country du jour at bay. The political unrest of 1970s Ecuador and hostility toward the oil-hungry U.S. further alienate Alice as she struggles to determine where she belongs. The novel's next section tells how, some 40 years earlier, Alice's grandmother Violet leaves the comforts of Adelaide for a life with her new husband in the Australian bush. Pregnant with Alice's mother, Violet struggles to hack tree stumps from the ground as she ponders her own roots: those who came before her to Australia, and the elusive nature of home for those born with wanderlust. The story of Violet's great-great-grandfather George is one of a people ravaging a land in the name of "Civilization, [and] the Empire's advance upon the globe." More impressionistic than narrative, Alison's third novel is a lush evocation of the way people love and alter (and are altered by) the environments they inhabit. Agent, Geri Thoma . (May) --Staff (Reviewed April 4, 2005) (Publishers Weekly, vol 252, issue 14, p44)
  • The complexity of story-delivery that worked so well in Alison's The Marriage of the Sea (2003) tends toward the reductive here, causing message to intrude on telling.Alison divides a long saga of family and science into five parts, then arranges those in an approximately reverse chronological order. Thus, during the Nixon years we first meet Alice Forder, nine, as she comes to live for a year in Quito, Ecuador, where her utter-stereotype American stepfather, Hal, will swagger, drive a Cadillac, smoke a lot, talk big and work in the embassy as a backer of big oil and the Pan-American Highway. The Australian-descended Alice, meanwhile, will find herself growing increasingly sensitive to the beauties and natural grandeur of Quito, including its great volcano, Pinchincha—while her also-sensitive mother, Rosalind, will fret over the U.S. policy of economic-political bullying ("Do we really have any right?" she said. . . "Do we really belong here?"). Part two sweeps us back to Australia, 1929, where we meet Rosalind's young mother, Violet (newly pregnant with Rosalind), as she labors to clear stumps and roots from the soil for farming. From there, its 1822 and Scotland, where the English are driving the Scots from their land, in this case to clear it for sheep. A boy named George—mute since witnessing his mother slain—and his mentor, Mr. Clarence, will leave Scotland to seek their fortunes in the Portuguese Azores as citrus growers, finding success until war isolates them, the fruit trees sicken from contamination and, in consequence, the islands are ruthlessly denuded. Thus it is, in 1836, that the pair set sail for a new start in South Australia, where George will start the family's Australian line. In closing, Violet, as widow, will take a world tour, and we'll glimpse Alice Forder, in 1981, on Scotland's shore.Intricate, ambitious, often beautiful. But Alison's people remain small, smothered under the great theme of "Civilization, the Empire's advance upon the globe." (Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2005)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
132776
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1961-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Alison, Jane
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Nature
  • Scots
  • Women pioneers
  • Human ecology
  • Immigrants
  • Diplomats
  • Gardeners
  • South America
  • Australia
  • Azores
Label
Natives and exotics : [a novel], Jane Alison
Link
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
Subtitle from cover
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
505654
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
238 pages
Isbn
9780151012015
Lccn
2004023118
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780151012015
  • (Sirsi) ADR-1994
Label
Natives and exotics : [a novel], Jane Alison
Link
Publication
Copyright
Note
Subtitle from cover
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
505654
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
238 pages
Isbn
9780151012015
Lccn
2004023118
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780151012015
  • (Sirsi) ADR-1994

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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