The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow

By Thea Astley


There are distant shouts, rifle shots, the pounding of feet across the bridge, the sound of running. A woman’s scream carves the night then bubbles away.

In 1930 the superintendent of a mission on a Queensland island, driven mad by his wife’s death, goes on a murderous rampage. Fearing for their lives, the other whites arm a young Indigenous man and order him to shoot Uncle Boss dead. The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow traces the lead-up to this bloody showdown and the repercussions in the years after—for Aboriginal people and the colonial overseers.

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