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AUTHOR'S SECRET

Ion Idriess' Mission WILL ROVE WITH ABORIGINES

Mr. Ion L. Idriess, wanderer among Australia's aboriginal tribes and author of eight books, including Lasseter'ifc Last Ride and Flynn of the Inland, has some

interesting things to say about Austra lia's literature and his new venture into the interior. He arrived in Perth recently, prepar ing for an expedition to the north of Western Australia, the Kiinberlcys, Leopold Ranges and down through Cen tral Australia to Alice Springs, to study aboriginal tribes. He expects' to leave Perth in about a fortnight. His trip has two purposes. One is to confirm material for two books which he has almost completed, the other is a secret mission which he has promised to those concerned he will not divulge. , One of the books dealt with the na tives: Some time ago, while in the north, lie roamed with several tribes of abo rigines for IS months. He began roam ing with two tribes, the 'kings' of which were two well-educated half-castes. Later he linked up with a tribe and wandered about with them by himself. Now he is going to mix with other

tribes that he missed last time.. The other book involves the secret mission, and therefore he cannot give details of it. . . Mr. Idriess is the author of 'Madman's Island,'' 'Prospecting for Gold' (in its fourth edition), 'Lasseter's Last Ride' (13th edition), 'Flynn of the Inland' ' (ninth edition), 'The Desert Column' (fifth edition), 'Men of the Jungle' (fifth edition), 'Golddust and Ashes' (fifth edition) and 'Drums of Mer' (in its third edition in a month). WRITERS' HARD ROAD He pointed out that Australian writers had to make their market of S million people in Australia and New Zealand, while overseas writers had a market of 200 million people. That was. why s-i many Australian writers found the literary road a hard one to traverse. 'I think a new era has begun for Aus tralian literature,' be said. 'We aro building ujj an entirely different class of books, and among recent Australian writers there are quite a number who are showing splendid promise. In the past two years there hat*1 been at least seven writers whose Aus tralian books have run into a number of editions quickly, a thing which I believe has rarely happened before: 'The Australian public in the past two years has bought almost as many Aus tralian books as they have overseas pub lications — price for price. 'My books merely set out my experi ences in 25 years of wandering, during which time I have met some fascinating Australian personalities. PJONEERS STILL 'The wonderful work of a few mien in opening up the inland and the nor thern coasts of Australia is little rea lised by the people in the cities. 'I have written about men who are of our own flesh and blood, and who are today still doing things m Lhu -;n- exploited areas. Mr. Idriess praised Australian pub lishers. They were producing books by Australian labor and with Austra lian materials at a price often f-0 per cent, less than those books produced in London, New York, Berlin or Paris, he said. . ..' ? '? ?'-..-. Mr. Idriess is 40 years of a^o.

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