In Poor Fellow, My Country, Xavier Herbert returns to the region made his own in Capricornia: Northern Australia. Ranging over a period of some six years, the story is set during the late 1930s and early 1940s; but it is not so much a tale of this period as Herbert's analysis and indictment of the steps by which we came to the Australia of today. Herbert parallels an intimate personal narrative with a tale of approaching war and the disconnect between modern Australia and its first inhabitants. With enduring portraits of a large cast of local and international characters, Herbert paints a scene of racial, familial, and political disparity. He lays bare the paradoxes of this wild land, both old and wise, young flawed. Winner of the Miles Franklin Award on first publication in 1975, Poor Fellow, My Country is masterful storytelling, an epic in the truest sense. This is the decisive story of how Australia threw away her chance of becoming a True Commonwealth. It is undoubtedly Herbert's supreme contribution to Australian literature.