Entry updated 24 August 2020. Tagged: Author.
Apparent pseudonym of Yugoslav-born author Streten Bozic (1932- ), in Australia from 1960; for some time, both names gave pause to researchers, as "Streten Bozic" could apparently be understood to mean "Merry Christmas" in Serbian, and "Birimbir Wongar" can be translated, from an Arnhem Land Aboriginal tongue, as something like "Dreaming Soul or Visitor", and "Banumbir Wongar", a version of the name used for a period, can be translated as something like "Spirit Messenger". There seems in fact little doubt that the author's original name is Streten Bozic, an identification he has not disputed; it is certainly the case that his first book, the nonfiction Aboriginal Myths (1972) with Alan Marshall, was published as by Bozic.
As B Wongar, the author is of some sf interest for his Nuclear Trilogy sequence beginning with Walg: A Novel of Australia (1982), in which Eugenics-based experiments are inflicted upon an Aboriginal woman, these experiments being conducted under the control of a corporation attempting to create enclaves in the outback where uranium can be mined and nuclear tests can be engaged upon. The diction of the trilogy, and the violent dissociations of sensibility it tracks, clearly mark the trilogy as deeply evocative of the Australian experience, though it was not until some time after its appearance that Wongar gained much notice there. His name does not appear for instance in the MUP Encyclopedia of Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy (1998) edited by Paul Collins.
Of Wongar's other work, some of which can be slightly uneasily understood in terms of Fantastika, The Trackers (1975) interestingly evokes Franz Kafka in its depiction of the surreal bureaucratization of the architect protagonist's discovery that he is gradually turning Black, and must escape white society. [JC]
born Gornja Trešnevica, Yugoslavia [now Serbia]: 1932
- Walg: A Novel of Australia (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1982) [Nuclear Trilogy: hb/Yumayna Burarwana]
- Karan (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1985) [Nuclear Trilogy: hb/Yumayna Burarwana]
- Gabo Djara (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1987) [Nuclear Trilogy: hb/]
- The Trackers (Collingwood, Victoria: Outback Press, 1975) [hb/]
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