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Issue Details: First known date: 2023... 2023 A Changed Man : Masculinities and Shame in Suburban Australian Fiction and Losing Face
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This thesis consists of an exegesis, ‘A Changed Man’, and a novel, ‘Losing Face’. Together they analyse the intersection of masculinities, shame and suburbia in Australia. The exegesis closely reads Christos Tsiolkas’ The Jesus Man (1999) and Peter Polites’ The Pillars (2019) to argue that it is the key characters’ experience of the intersection of masculinities, shame and suburbia that drives them to lose their morality and commit violent and reprehensible crimes. ‘A Changed Man’ discusses the academic research which informed the development of my work of fiction, ‘Losing Face’, and more broadly, attempts to offer research which can inform the reading of similar texts, to better understand the often violent outcomes of the characters’ experience of the intersection of masculinities, shame and suburbia. The introduction of the exegesis highlights key concepts that will be used as a framework for analysing the novels in the two chapters that follow. Chapter One addresses The Jesus Man (1999) and Chapter Two addresses The Pillars (2019). The conclusion proposes that The Stefano brothers in The Jesus Man and all key characters in The Pillars including Pano, Kane and Basil, exist and operate in various kinds of habitus (suburban, social, family, work) that crossover and bring with them a different set of pressures to conform. Negotiating this overlap of pressure, and dealing with the conflict of shame and consecrated manhood, is what drives the characters to act out destructively and violently. The key characters in the novels lack mobility and control which amplifies their visceral experience of the intersection of masculinities, shame and suburbia. To remedy this pressure they lose their morality, exploit others, and undertake violent and reprehensible actions. The creative component of the thesis, titled ‘Losing Face’, tells the story of a troubled young Lebanese-Australian man living in Western Sydney in 2019. Throughout the novel, I aim to engage with and recognise the complexities of masculine identity as part of contemporary and diverse Australian culture. Additionally, the novel attempts to introduce nuances of sexuality and ethnic identity that are not often depicted in texts with similar key characters and themes. At the centre of ‘Losing Face’ is the sexual assault of a young woman in a suburban car park. This event draws on how the key characters’ performance of masculinity leads to violent outcomes that subordinate, traumatise and injure women.' (Publication summary)


* Contents derived from the Sydney, New South Wales,:Western Sydney University , 2023 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Losing Face, George Haddad , single work novel

'A stunning, thought-provoking novel about facing up to your family and your future, dealing with timely issues around sexual consent and inherited trauma. Joey is young, indifferent. He’s drifting around Western Sydney unaware of how his passivity might lead him even further adrift, off the rails, into a violent crime.

'Meanwhile his grandmother Elaine – a proud Lebanese woman – tries to hold her family and herself together in the wake of Joey’s actions. In her family, history repeats itself, vices come and go, and uncovering long-buried secrets isn’t always cathartic.

'This gripping and hard-hitting novel reveals the richness and complexity of contemporary Australian life and tests the idea that facing consequences will make us better people.' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 24 May 2023 13:25:30
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