The flowers flared up from the ground unconquerable. The unrepentant gaiety of the weed, the burning blues and crimsons, set the hills glowing. ‘It’s a plant that’s struck it lucky,’ the Stray said thoughtfully. ‘It hasn’t got no right, but it’s there.’
The Battlers is the story of Snow, a drifter and wanderer, the waiflike Dancy the Stray, from the slums of Sydney, and the other outcasts who accompany them as they travel the country roads looking for work. Like the weed Patterson’s Curse, they ‘haven’t got no right,’ but they are there. Based on her own experiences of life on the roads in the 1930s, Tennant tells the story of the motley crowd of travellers with compassion and humour.
First published in 1941, The Battlers was awarded the Gold Medal of the Australian Literature Society and shared the S. H. Prior Memorial Prize. More than seventy years later, the book’s message of survival against the odds is as relevant today as it was then.
- Winner 1940 S. H. Prior Memorial Prize
- Winner 1942 Australian Literature Society Gold Medal