A review by Carolyn Servid, from Writing Nature 2010
The Blue Plateau: An Australian Pastoral by Mark Tredinnick
This book is an exquisitely crafted tapestry of an extraordinary landscape and a few dozen characters who are shaped by it. The Australian edition’s subtitle, A Landscape Memoir, is more telling. Mark Tredinnick has evocatively captured a place, its geological history, and its profound role in human lives rooted in it. Australia’s Blue Plateau was Tredinnick’s home at a significant time in his life. The place itself commands his respect and love, and both of those deepen as he comes to know the plateau, its steep valleys and its sometimes-trickling-sometimes-raging rivers through the eyes and lives and stories of the book’s cast of characters: generations of long-time settlers who wear the landscape like their own clothes; others learning and making their way; still others lost to the country’s wildness. Most striking is Tredinnick’s lyrical prose — not only his painterly descriptions and his telling of stories, but his refections on the language of landscape, how it can shape our hearts, our very being.
Thanks to Carolyn Servid for steering us to a beautifully written study of landscape from down under. The Land Library can also recommend these well-crafted works by Mark Tredinnick:
The Land’s Wild Music: Encounters with Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Terry Tempest Williams, and James Galvin, A Place on Earth: An Anthology of Nature Writing from North America and Australia, plus Writing Well: The Essential Guide (not pictured).
For more book recommendations (plus a whole lot more), take a look at Writing Nature 2010!