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When Sannah the Storyteller, a descendant of environmental refugees from drowned Pacific islands, finds a White stranger on her domestep, she presumes he’s a political prisoner on the run seeking safe passage to egalitarian Aotearoa. However, Kaire’s unusual appearance, bizarre behaviour, and insistence he’s a pilgrim suggest otherwise.
Appalled by apartheid Australia, Kaire uses his White privileges to procure vital information for Sannah and her group of activists regarding new desert prisons that are to be built to house all political prisoners. The group plans sabotage but needs help, and Kaire is a willing accomplice. But when Sannah turns Truthteller and threatens to reveal the country’s true history, even Kaire’s White privilege and advanced technology cannot save Sannah and her daughter from retribution.
Originally from England, Sue worked after graduating (B.A. University of Queensland, majors in English Literature, Drama and French) in university libraries until taking early retirement in 2008 to concentrate on creative writing. Since then she has written: Sannah and the Pilgrim; several short stories, articles and poems, which have been published in magazines and anthologies; a feature film script Feed Thy Enemy (based on a true story) set in Naples in 1944 and 1974, and a second novel Safety Zone. Her current project is a sequel to Sannah and the Pilgrim—the working title is Pia and the Skyman.
Imagine a world where racist, white supremacists are completely in charge and in position to act on their ugliest fantasies of ‘keeping the brown skins in their proper places.’ In Sue Parritt’s new book, Sannah and the Pilgrim, Australia, several hundred years into the future is such a place. When climate change rendered their neighbouring islands uninhabitable, the brown skinned peoples of these islands sought sanctuary in the vast empty spaces of the big continent. For their own protection they were set to living in separate zones away from the existing white populations. Gradually their status declined from refugees to despised, while their segregation became permanent. They were however, necessary, as they did the work that the whites couldn’t or wouldn’t dirty their hands with, such as raising the food that whites require for their healthy lives. And, as an interesting added wrinkle in this new world order, the work day has been turned on its head; people sleep in the blazing heat of the day, and work during the relative cool of the evening. This ‘little’ detail sets the stage for a number of unseen, because of the darkness, activities and events. (review by Martha Hubbard via Goodreads)