Thomas Keneally single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2008 2008
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    y Writing Across the Continent A Reference Book on Australian Prose Writing Tom Sigley , 2008 Z1535697 2008 website criticism This book has several strengths. It makes a good compromise between comprehensiveness and focus. Trying to cover all the authors of the period would necessitate brief, encyclopaedic treatments. Restricting the coverage to a small selection of major authors would produce an idiosyncratic result with important omissions. The detailed treatment of thirty-seven authors covers the most significant individual figures with a range wide enough to fill out the context in each period and give the reader a sense of the literary inter-relationships. The result is a book that is highly readable and yet handy for reference purposes. The studies of individual authors show, above all, an enormous amount of reading. The treatments integrate biographical and background material with detailed accounts of the texts. Mr Sigley's enthusiasm for the literature and his knowledge of Australia are both communicated to the reader. The introductory chapters are deftly integrated with the accounts of individual authors. They are unusual in providing a concise literary history that is accessible to readers who may be new to Australian studies. Writing Across the Continent is clearly informed by Mr Sigley's long experience as a teacher in Japan, and he is aware of the needs of readers who have an interest in Australia but little acquaintance with its culture or literature. The focus on prose fiction is appropriate for students of non-English speaking backgrounds, and there seems to be nothing in print that suits such a readership. He has appreciated the need for an introduction to Australian writing that is an alternative to reference books, detailed literary histories, and works of literary criticism; and in my opinion he has filled this need very successfully. [Dr John Scahill, Professor, Faculty of Letters, Keio University, Mita, Tokyo] 2008
Last amended 26 Jun 2009