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A Most Peculiar Act casts a sardonic eye at the protectionist policies of the early 20th century from the perspective of an Aboriginal fringe-camp dweller by the name of Sugar. Against the background of the Aboriginal Ordinances Act and the "White Australia" policy, Sugar's resistance to assimilation turns into a protracted battle with the authorities and the chief protector Horatio Humphris (or Horrid Hump). Interspersed with illicit affairs, stolen children and unwelcome foreigners, A Most Peculiar Act sees Sugar and her oppressors finally meet on a level playing field with an outcome neither side could have foreseen.
"The narrative voice is yarning, chatty and sardonic, but under all the jokes and stories there’s a sharp critique of bureaucrats and institutions, and an appreciation of the heroic nature of resistance."
The Saturday Age
Listen to Marie Munkara's discussion with Daniel Browning on Radio National