On a Tuesday morning, I make my way to the Gap View Hotel for a drinking session starting at 10 a.m. I'm told this is one of Alice Springs' three notorious 'animal bars' … As I wander around, a Sudanese security guard approaches me, his face concerned. Am I lost? he wants to know. In a way, I am. I don't want a beer. It's 10 a.m., for Chrissake.
In Booze Territory, Anna Krien takes a clear-eyed look at Indigenous binge-drinking – who does it, why, and what it means. She visits bars brimming with morning drinkers and investigates alcoholic after-effects ranging from extreme violence to extraordinarily high rates of cirrhosis of the liver. This is an essay which never fails to see the human dimension of an intractable problem and shine a light on its deep causes.
Short Blacks are gems of recent Australian writing – brisk reads that quicken the pulse and stimulate the mind.
Anna Krien is the author of Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport, Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania's Forests and Quarterly Essay 45 Us and Them: On the Importance of Animals. Anna's work has been published in the Monthly, the Age, the Big Issue, The Best Australian Essays, The Best Australian Stories, Griffith Review, Voiceworks, Going Down Swinging, Colors, Frankie and Dazed & Confused.