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Why does Robyn Davidson walk 1,700 miles across the Australian desert accompanied by four camels? Tracks is a quintessential adventure, yet the adventurer's relationship to her own quest is ambivalent and nuanced. She never directly explains her motivations, but it's clear that she's been driven to the starkness and isolation of the desert by something so personally powerful that she may not understand it herself. Ironically, when she accepts the financial backing of the National Geographic, her private "trial by fire" is doused by the popular concept of romantic independence she represents to others: "I was beginning to see it as a story for other people, with a beginning and an ending." She feels pursued and invaded by the photographer assigned to follow her, by the people who intercept her with questions and interpretations. Yet her ultimate confrontations are with her own rage and desperation, with the personal and cultural repercussions of racism and misogyny in her own experience, and with the paradoxical ugliness and beauty of the rural Australia she encounters. The integrity of this articulate and impassioned account is evident in the fact that Robyn Davidson does not find glib solutions to inner or outer conflicts. Like her camel companions, she seems temperamental, insatiable, and slightly crazy, but also determined, direct, vulnerable, and splendid.