Tracks, a film based on Robyn Davidson’s 2,000-mile walk in 1977 from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, with four camels and a dog, is already being screened in cinemas throughout Australia and is due to open shortly in Britain. It’s that rare thing: a film of a book of which the book’s author heartily approves. That may be partly because the film-makers make no attempt to clear up a mystery that remained at the end of Davidson’s own account: what prompted her to embark on such a trek in the first place.
The Griffith Review, an Australian quarterly I’ve only just discovered online, has been prompted by the film’s release to direct its readers to its archive, and a moving piece Davidson wrote in 2006 on her return to Darwin. It runs to nearly 6,000 words, so print out the PDF and enjoy it away from the screen.
In the same edition of the Griffith Review, David Malouf tells how his novella Fly Away Peter was inspired by his finding an “exotic” landscape close to home.