The Drover's Wife - Leah Purcell

The Drover's Wife - Leah Purcell


The Drover's Wife is utterly authentic, brilliantly plotted, thoroughly harrowing and entirely of our times exploring race, gender, violence and inheritance.

Leah Purcell’s play caused a sensation on performance and won the NSW Premier’s Prize Book of the Year and now she has expanded that play to write a novel that while still ‘Tarantino meets Deadwood’ is also so much more.

In the titular character The Drover's Wife, Purcell has created a figure who is as resonant and significant as Ned Kelly. Lawson’s original short story is reimagined vividly to portray the drover’s heroic wife as a righteous avenger - on behalf of herself, her children and her race - in a savage male world. Challenging responses to family violence and black white relations. A taut thriller of our pioneering past, The Drover's Wife is full of fury, power, family love and intimate friendships. And has a black sting to the tail, reaching from our nation's settled infancy into our complicated present.

About the Author

Leah Purcell is a multi award-winning playwright, actor, director, screenwriter and filmmaker. Indigenous and First Nation themes, characters and issues lie at the heart of all her work.

The Drover's Wife was first a play written by and starring Purcell, performed in 2017. It won the Victorian and New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards for Best Play, Best Book and the Prize for Literature; the Australian Writer's Guild Award for Best Play and Major Work; the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre; the Helpmann Award for Best Play and Best New Australian Work; and the Sydney-UNESCO City of Film Award.

Leah Purcell is currently at work on the feature film adaptation of The Drover's Wife, as writer, director and lead actor. She is a proud Goa-Gunggari-Wakka Wakka Murri woman from Queensland.



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