Issue Details: First known date: 2005 2005
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In this collaborative essay, Mallan, Bradford and Stephens interrogate the links between the family, the social well-being of a nation and its individual citizens in conjunction with representations of 'new social orders'(6). They consider how notions of family are developed in selected texts, including Shades Children (Garth Nix) and Boy Overboard (Morris Gleitzman), pointing out that in all three novels, 'various social imaginaries unfold, each gesturing towards a utopian outcome in which family becomes the unifying point for previously isolated or marginalized individuals' (7). For Mallen et al, the challenge in reading utopian novels that deal with families and difficult times is the need to be sensitive to the atrocities described as well as being able to 'assess the creative adaptation of their utopian refiguration' (19). In this sense they argue, the possibility occurs for wider consideration and discussion of family relationships which affords knowledge of and insights into the world within which we live specifically 'how difference is refracted within both the familiar and alternative social imaginaries they propose' (19).

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Last amended 8 Jul 2011
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