Writers at Stanton - Chris Hammer in Conversation
21-Aug-2018 • 1pm
Scrublands - Chris Hammer
In an isolated country town brought to its knees by endless drought, a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners before being shot to death himself.
A year later, troubled journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write a feature on the anniversary of the tragedy. But the stories he hears from the locals about the priest and the incidents leading up to the shooting don’t fit with the accepted version of events his own newspaper reported in an award-winning investigation. Martin can’t ignore his doubts, nor the urgings of some locals to unearth the real reason behind the priest deadly rampage.
‘Brilliant and unsettling, Scrublands stands at the junction of Snowtown and Wake in Fright, that place where Australia’s mirage of bush tranquility evaporates into our hidden fears.’ -Paul Daley, Journalist
‘Hammer’s portrait of a dying, drought-struck town numbed by a priest’s unimaginable act of violence will capture you from the first explosive page and refuse to let go until the last’ – Tony Wright, Fairfax Editor