An Alice Girl


From the bestselling author of Alice to Prague, comes Tanya Heaslip’s extraordinary memoir of growing up with her sister and brothers in the late 1960s and early 70s, on an outback cattle property just north of Alice Springs.

‘As the house yards came into view, I thought of Dad constantly instructing us, teaching us, to become better at everything we did, and a terrifying thought crept into my mind.
Who will I be, if I’m not here, on this land, under these skies?

How would I find the answer to this question? I had no idea. Then another thought replaced it. A strong, powerful thought.

I will go away and live in the other places I’ve read about in my beloved books. I will do exciting things. Then, one day, I will write about this life and this land, so it’s always with me, forever.’

Tanya’s parents were pioneers. They developed the cattle station where water was scarce, where all power was dependent on generators and where a trip to town for supplies usually meant a full day’s journey.

Tanya and her siblings led a childhood unimaginable to many Australians. Their father was determined to teach them how to survive in this severe and isolated environment and his lessons were often harsh. But despite all that, Tanya tells of this precious time with raw honesty, humour, love and much kindness.

‘Tanya’s story glows with love for family and the rugged, wild outback land that never leaves her heart.’ – Toni Tapp Coutts, bestselling author of A Sunburnt Childhood

‘Tanya Heaslip lived the outback childhood of Australian mythology. Stories like this remind us that love of place is universal.’ – Kim Mahood, NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Craft for a Dry Lake