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y The Infernal Optimist single work   novel   humour  
Issue Details: First known date: 2006 2006
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Capturing the voice of an Australia you haven't heard in fiction before ... Meet Zeke Togan, a small-time crim in big-time trouble. A quintessential Australian larrikin - whose biggest problem is that he isn't actually Australian. 19 year old Zeke was born in the Old Country but has been in Australia since he was six months old and considers himself as Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi as the next bloke. But due to a mix-up at the naturalisation ceremony (Zeke was in the pub when the rest of his family were getting their certificates and sprigs of wattle) and some unfortunate brushes with the law, Zeke finds himself awaiting deportation from Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre. So Zeke finds himself locked up with the other crims, asylum seekers, sex slaves, illegal workers and visa overstayers. He loves Marlena, She Who Loves, Honours and Obeys Most a the Time Anyway, but he's having a hell of a time proving it from the wrong side of a double fence. His new friends the 'asylums' aren't doing so well either. Hamid loves Angel but she needs more than love. April thinks she loves Azad, but Azad thinks he loves April's daughter Marley. Thomas loves anyplace but where he is. Everyone loves freedom. Not everyone gets it. Everyone wants to survive. Not everyone will.' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Epigraph: I'm fair dinkum, bloody oath I am.
    I've loved the smell of gum leaves,
    since I was in a pram.
    some places may be greener,
    but I don't give a damn
    'cause I'm fair dinkum,
    bloody oath I am.

    John Williamson, 'I'm fair Dinkum'

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Fourth Estate , 2006 .
      712986335560773360.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online
      Extent: 329p.p.
      ISBN: 0732282756, 9780732282752

Works about this Work

Disappearing Race : Normative Whiteness and Cultural Appropriation in Australian Refugee Narratives Wenche Ommundsen , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Narrating Race : Asia, (Trans)Nationalism, Social Change 2011; (p. 235-251)
'A World of ...Risk, Passion, Intensity, and Tragedy : The Post 9/11 Australian Novel Richard Scott Carr , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 23 no. 1 2009; (p. 63-66)

'The terrorist has become a familiar figure and terrorism a common referent in recent Australian writing. I intend to explore a handful of Australian novels published, like [Janet Turner] Hospital's work , since 2001 : A.L. McCann's Subtopia (2005), Linda Jaivin's The Infernal Optimist (2006), Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist (2006), and Andrew McGahan's Underground (2006). All of these novels entered a world attuned to the destructive potential of the terrorist and wary of the terrorist desire to wreak and skill at wreaking havoc.'

Villawood - Victims or Villains Chris Broadribb , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Politics and Culture , no. 3 2008;

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Professing the Popular : Political Fiction circa 2006 Andrew McCann , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October vol. 23 no. 2 2007; (p. 43-57)
Inside Story Rosemary Neill , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 22-23 April 2006; (p. 4-5)
Comedy Wrapped Up in a Razor Wire Natasha Cica , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 29-30 April 2006; (p. 9)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
The Barbed Wit of a Fool Behind the Razor Wire Dorothy Johnston , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 29-30 April 2006; (p. 32-33)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Inspiration From Behind the Wire Linda Jaivin , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 6 May 2006; (p. 14-15)
Light and Dark in Villawood Cameron Woodhead , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 6 May 2006; (p. 25)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Life in a Detention Centre - Petty Thief Pays a High Price for Stupidity Ian Nichols , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 13 May 2006; (p. 8-9)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Tour de Force Katharine England , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 3 June 2006; (p. 10)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
The Armour-Plated Cause Michelle Griffin , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June-July no. 282 2006; (p. 42)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Jaivin's Infernal Optimism Fiona Stager , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , May/June vol. 85 no. 10 2006; (p. 45)
Untitled Fiona Stager , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , May/June vol. 85 no. 10 2006; (p. 49)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Asylum Speakers Barry Oakley , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 16 May vol. 124 no. 6520 2006; (p. 68069)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Suffering, Resilience and Compassion Alwyn Evans , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Spring no. 184 2006; (p. 81)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Comedy Wrapped Up in a Razor Wire Natasha Cica , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 29-30 April 2006; (p. 9)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
The Barbed Wit of a Fool Behind the Razor Wire Dorothy Johnston , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 29-30 April 2006; (p. 32-33)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Light and Dark in Villawood Cameron Woodhead , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 6 May 2006; (p. 25)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Life in a Detention Centre - Petty Thief Pays a High Price for Stupidity Ian Nichols , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 13 May 2006; (p. 8-9)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Tour de Force Katharine England , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 3 June 2006; (p. 10)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
The Armour-Plated Cause Michelle Griffin , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June-July no. 282 2006; (p. 42)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Untitled Fiona Stager , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , May/June vol. 85 no. 10 2006; (p. 49)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Asylum Speakers Barry Oakley , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 16 May vol. 124 no. 6520 2006; (p. 68069)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Suffering, Resilience and Compassion Alwyn Evans , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Spring no. 184 2006; (p. 81)

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Villawood - Victims or Villains Chris Broadribb , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Politics and Culture , no. 3 2008;

— Review of The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin 2006 single work novel
Inside Story Rosemary Neill , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 22-23 April 2006; (p. 4-5)
Inspiration From Behind the Wire Linda Jaivin , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 6 May 2006; (p. 14-15)
Jaivin's Infernal Optimism Fiona Stager , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , May/June vol. 85 no. 10 2006; (p. 45)
Professing the Popular : Political Fiction circa 2006 Andrew McCann , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October vol. 23 no. 2 2007; (p. 43-57)
'A World of ...Risk, Passion, Intensity, and Tragedy : The Post 9/11 Australian Novel Richard Scott Carr , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 23 no. 1 2009; (p. 63-66)

'The terrorist has become a familiar figure and terrorism a common referent in recent Australian writing. I intend to explore a handful of Australian novels published, like [Janet Turner] Hospital's work , since 2001 : A.L. McCann's Subtopia (2005), Linda Jaivin's The Infernal Optimist (2006), Richard Flanagan's The Unknown Terrorist (2006), and Andrew McGahan's Underground (2006). All of these novels entered a world attuned to the destructive potential of the terrorist and wary of the terrorist desire to wreak and skill at wreaking havoc.'

Disappearing Race : Normative Whiteness and Cultural Appropriation in Australian Refugee Narratives Wenche Ommundsen , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Narrating Race : Asia, (Trans)Nationalism, Social Change 2011; (p. 235-251)
Last amended 24 Jun 2014 17:09:20
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