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 and flawed.