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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Dear Nightmare’ : Chloe Hooper’s The Engagement as Gothic Romance
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Chloe Hooper's second novel, The Engagement (2012), was always likely to face a critical challenge. Her previous book was the multi-award-winning The Tall Man (2008), a non-fictional account of the death in police custody of an Indigenous man, Cameron Doomadgee, on Palm Island off the coast of North Queensland in 2004. Coinciding with Kevin Rudd's 2008 National Apology to the Stolen Generations, it was a timely work about racial injustice overshadowed by historical guilt, and was widely publicised and well received. In contrast, The Engagement, variously described as a thriller or a gothic novel, might seem frivolous, and so far has sparked no critical attention apart from reviews, most of which, while finding things to praise, also carried reservations. Owen Richardson in the Monthly-which in 2006 had published Hooper's Walkley Award-winning essay on the inquest into Doomadgee's death—thought that "it was hard not to think that Hooper's gift is slumming it a bit," and Geordie Williamson in the Australian was "not sure how successfully Hooper has held fantasy and reality in tension" (19). Kate McFadyen in Australian Book Review struck something of a common chord when she remarked: "Hooper masters all the generic plot devices, but her characters' responses and motivations do not always ring true...' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Southerly Mixed Messages vol. 77 no. 3 2017 14149814 2017 periodical issue

    'The theme of this issue, Mixed Messages, relates in the main to a thread running through the essays, all of which engage with texts that challenge the limits of genre. These challenges include the status and influence of what might be termed a secondary genre deployed by writers whose renown is based on another form: Brigitta Olubas considers the short fiction of novelist Shirley Hazzard; and Cheryl Taylor introduces the poetry of novelist Thea Astley. Kate Livett delves into the mixed media, specifically music and photography, at the core of Helen Garner’s The Children’s Bach, and Peter Kirkpatrick examines the fusion of Gothic and Romance forms in Chloe Hooper’s The Engagement, and David Brooks thinks through the miscenegy of the human and the non-human in relation to the famous scene of Derrida standing naked before his cat. Another strand in the issue is of comedy and errors and includes fiction by Debra Adelaide, John Kinsella, Mark Macrossan, Sara Bucholz, Nasrin Mahoutchi, Niki Tulk and Scott McCulloch. The poetry spans its usual wide range from the lyric to graphic experimentation and the reviews introduce some of the exciting new work published across creative and critical forms.' (Publication abstract)

    pg. 85-105
Last amended 2 Aug 2018 09:01:33
85-105 Dear Nightmare’ : Chloe Hooper’s The Engagement as Gothic Romancesmall AustLit logo Southerly
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