Traveling, Writing and Engagement in Robyn Davidson’s Tracks


  • Magali Sperling Beck Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina



Travel Writing, Australian Literature, Robyn Davidson, Tracks


In 1980, Australian writer Robyn Davidson publishes her travel narrative Tracks, in which she describes her crossing of the central Australian deserts in the late 1970’s, on foot and by herself, being accompanied only by her dog and by four camels. The narrative became an immediate success after its publication, receiving the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, and been widely read both in Australia and worldwide. It has also become an emblematic example of contemporary travel narratives, mainly due to the fact that it is not only a book about survival or about a woman crossing a desert alone, rather elaborating on the implications between genre and gender; it is also a narrative that recuperates the political and ideological background of an important moment in Australian history. Thus, taking into consideration Davidson’s ambivalence in relation to writing about her travel experiences, in this paper, I argue that Tracks, more than celebrating the process of self-transformation in travel, lingers on the tension between its narrator’s search for freedom and her awareness regarding the responsibilities involved in engaging with cultural difference and in representing geographical crossings. 

Biografia do Autor

Magali Sperling Beck, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

Professor Magali Sperling Beck holds a PhD in Literature by the University of Alberta and a Masters by the Federal University of Santa Catarina. She is a professor at the English Language and Literature Department of UFSC. Her research interests include: literatures in English, contemporary poetry and prose from the US and Canada, travel writing, postcolonialism.