June 15, 2017

     To travel to Australia has been on my bucket list ever since I was a kid and didn’t know what a bucket list was. One look at a magazine photograph of Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock) and I burned with a fever to know everything about the place that possessed a monumental, Martian-colored rock formation right smack dab in the middle of miles (excuse me, kilometers) from nowhere. As a Charles Dickens devotee, I was curious about the convict country of Magwitch in "Great Expectations." And what’s not to like about the Aussies’ broad vowels and their delightful vocabulary that includes words like billabong and fair dinkum? Even the fauna have names to make you smile: wallaby, koala, kookaburra.

An entire section of my library is devoted to Australian writers. Patrick White, Tim Winton, Peter Carey, Murray Bail, Evie Wyld, David Malouf and others have taken me on many an unusual and fascinating journey. And I’ve seen just about every Austr...

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