WWII romance 'A Town Like Alice' skipped the Outback malice, death

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SYDNEY -- Laura Schneider, a New York teacher, is on her way to Alice Springs, the dust-dry town in the centre of Australia, pictured tranquil and agreeably English by the British writer Nevil Shute in his 1950 novel of love in the Outback. It is a tale and a setting that Ms Schneider finds so uplifting that she reads from A Town Like Alice five times year.

She is far from alone in her long admiration of Shute, who died 47 years ago. She will be joined in Alice Springs next week by about 100 other members of the Nevil Shute Foundation, who will fly from around the globe for their biannual literary convention, being held for the first time in the burnt desert town that Shute made famous...

Shute...did not write, however, of the town’s cruel underside: its stony intolerance for Aborigines or the laws that forced all of them outside the town’s limits unless they worked for a licensed employer.

Were he to return now he could not fail to see the shame of Alice...

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