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Issue Details: First known date: 2023... 2023 “Something Here Is Completely, Horribly, Unnaturally Wrong” : Uncanny Vegetation in Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s Aurora Rising
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Australian authors Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s 2019 young adult space adventure Aurora Rising features several unsettling representations of plants. These do not just serve to create suspense but also to address questions concerning the relationship between humanity and nature. Approaching the plant horror elements in the novel from a postcolonial ecoGothic perspective enables engagement with the underlying anthropocentric bias of Aurora Rising and its entanglements with imperialist ideologies. Based on selected close readings, this chapter argues that the novel eventually does not critique exploitative (neo-)colonial-expansionist ways of thinking but perpetuates them by pitting two imperial powers (humans vs aliens) against each other. This fight leaves other living beings caught in the crossfire, reducing nature in the novel to a mere battleground against which a Cold War-like quest for dominance takes place.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Storying Plants in Australian Children's and Young Adult Literature : Roots and Winged Seeds Melanie Duckworth (editor), Annika Herb (editor), Cham : Palgrave Macmillan , 2023 27274711 2023 anthology criticism

    'Storying Plants in Australian Children’s and Young Adult Literature: Roots and Winged Seeds explores cultural and historical aspects of the representation of plants in Australian children’s and young adult literature, encompassing colonial, postcolonial, and Indigenous perspectives. While plants tend to be backgrounded as of less narrative interest than animals and humans, this book, in conversation with the field of critical plant studies, approaches them as living beings worthy of attention. Australia is home to over 20,000 species of native plants – from pungent Eucalypts to twisting mangroves, from tiny orchids to spiky, silvery spinifex. Indigenous Australians have lived with, relied upon, and cultivated these plants for many thousands of years. When European explorers and colonists first invaded Australia, unfamiliar species of plants captured their imagination. Vulnerable to bushfires, climate change, and introduced species, plants continue to occupy fraught but vital places in Australian ecologies, texts, and cultures. Discussing writers from Ambelin Kwaymullina and Aunty Joy Murphy to May Gibbs and Ethel Turner, and embracing transnational perspectives from Ukraine, Poland, and Aotearoa New Zealand, Storying Plants addresses the stories told about plants but also the stories that plants themselves tell, engaging with the wide-ranging significance of plants in Australian children’s and Young Adult literature.'  (Publication summary)

    Cham : Palgrave Macmillan , 2023
    pg. 207-226
Last amended 13 Dec 2023 14:28:01
207-226 “Something Here Is Completely, Horribly, Unnaturally Wrong” : Uncanny Vegetation in Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s Aurora Risingsmall AustLit logo
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