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y separately published work icon The Time We Have Taken Steven Carroll , Pymble : Fourth Estate , 2007 Z1344340 2007 single work novel (taught in 3 units)

'One suburban morning in Summer 1970, Peter van Rijn, proprietor of the television and wireless shop, realises that his suburb is 100 years old. He contacts the Mayor, who assembles a Committee, and celebrations are eagerly planned. That same morning, just a few streets way, Rita is awakened by a dream of her husband's snores. It is years since Vic moved north, and left their house of empty silences, yet his life remains bound up with hers. Their son, too, has moved on - Michael is at university, exploring new ideas and the heady world of grown-up love. Yet Rita still stubbornly stays in the old street, unable to imagine leaving the house she has tended so lovingly for so long. Instead she has taken on the care of another house as well - that of the widowed Mrs Webster, owner of the suburb's landmark factory, now in decline. As these lives entwine, and the Committee commissions its centenary mural and prepares to commemorate Progress, History - in the shape of the new, post-war generation represented by Michael and his friends - is heading straight for them...'

(Source: Publisher's blurb)

y separately published work icon The Infernal Optimist Linda Jaivin , Sydney : Fourth Estate , 2006 Z1263820 2006 single work novel humour (taught in 3 units)

'Capturing the voice of an Australia you haven't heard in fiction before ... Meet Zeke Togan, a small-time crim in big-time trouble. A quintessential Australian larrikin - whose biggest problem is that he isn't actually Australian. 19 year old Zeke was born in the Old Country but has been in Australia since he was six months old and considers himself as Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi as the next bloke. But due to a mix-up at the naturalisation ceremony (Zeke was in the pub when the rest of his family were getting their certificates and sprigs of wattle) and some unfortunate brushes with the law, Zeke finds himself awaiting deportation from Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre. So Zeke finds himself locked up with the other crims, asylum seekers, sex slaves, illegal workers and visa overstayers. He loves Marlena, She Who Loves, Honours and Obeys Most a the Time Anyway, but he's having a hell of a time proving it from the wrong side of a double fence. His new friends the 'asylums' aren't doing so well either. Hamid loves Angel but she needs more than love. April thinks she loves Azad, but Azad thinks he loves April's daughter Marley. Thomas loves anyplace but where he is. Everyone loves freedom. Not everyone gets it. Everyone wants to survive. Not everyone will.' (Publication summary)

y separately published work icon Metro Alasdair Duncan , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2006 Z1276557 2006 single work novel satire (taught in 5 units) 'Liam Kelly is the very model of the modern male - boys want to be him, girls want to be with him. He and his group of loyal mates spend their days driving around town, drinking beer and very occasionally going to lectures. His good looks compensate, everyone agrees, for his superior attitude and private-school arrogance. Liam and his girlfriend Sara seem to be the perfect couple, but when she leaves for a European trip without him, the facade begins to crumble. He sees six months of freedom ahead, unaware that the consequences of his bad-boy behaviour will threaten the image he has so carefully created. Metro is a satirical tale of morality, masculinity and money from the internationally acclaimed author of Sushi Central.' (Backcover)
y separately published work icon King Tide Katherine Thomson , Sydney : Currency Press , 2007 Z1339176 2007 single work drama (taught in 2 units)

'Three years ago, Sal was an award-winning investigative journalist. Uncovering government corruption and public scandals she was forever on the front line. But her son's death robbed Sal of her willingness to engage. Increasingly reclusive, she opted out, choosing to live in a borrowed beach house as she struggles to come to terms with her loss.

'When her teenage daughter brings home a Japanese surfer to stay, Sal finds herself confronted with a sense of danger that was once so vital to her life.

'King Tide is a surprising story of hope, emerging out of the love and vulnerability of two very different people.' (Publisher's blurb)

y separately published work icon The Eastern Slope Chronicle Yu Ouyang , Rose Bay : Brandl and Schlesinger , 2002 Z976924 2002 single work novel (taught in 3 units)
y separately published work icon The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith Thomas Keneally , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1972 Z559274 1972 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 4 units)

'When Jimmie Blacksmith marries a white woman, the backlash from both Jimmie's tribe and white society initiates a series of dramatic events. As Jimmie tries to survive between two cultures, tensions reach a head when the Newbys, Jimmie's white employers, try to break up his marriage. The Newby women are murdered and Jimmie flees, pursued by police and vigilantes. The hunt intensifies as further murders are committed, and concludes with tragic results.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (HarperCollins ed.)

y separately published work icon Remembering Babylon David Malouf , London Milsons Point : Chatto and Windus Random House , 1993 Z452447 1993 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 48 units)

'In the mid-1840s, a thirteen-year-old boy, Gemmy Fairley, is cast ashore in the far north of Australia and taken in by Aborigines. Sixteen years later, when settlers reach the area, he moves back into the world of Europeans, men and women who are staking out their small patch of home in an alien place, hopeful and yet terrified of what it might do to them.

Given shelter by the McIvors, the family of the children who originally made contact with him, Gemmy seems at first to be guaranteed a secure role in the settlement, but there are currents of fear and mistrust in the air. To everyone he meets - from George Abbot, the romantically aspiring young teacher, to Mr Frazer, the minister, whose days are spent with Gemmy recording the local flora; from Janet McIvor, just coming to adulthood and discovering new versions of the world, to the eccentric Governor of Queensland himself - Gemmy stands as a different kind of challenge, as a force which both fascinates and repels. And Gemmy himself finds his own whiteness as unsettling in this new world as the knowledge he brings with him of the savage, the Aboriginal.' - Publisher's blurb (Chatto & Windus, 1993).

y separately published work icon Of a Boy Sonya Hartnett , Ringwood : Viking , 2002 Z969271 2002 single work novel mystery (taught in 3 units) The year is 1977, and Adrian is nine. He lives with his gran and his uncle Rory; his best friend is Clinton Tull. He loves to draw and he wants a dog; he's afraid of quicksand, shopping centres and self-combustion. Adrian watches his suburban world, but there is much he cannot understand. He does not for instance, know why three neighbourhood children might set out to buy ice-cream and never come back home.
y separately published work icon Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature Anita Heiss (editor), Peter Minter (editor), Nicholas Jose (editor), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2008 Z1483175 2008 anthology poetry drama prose correspondence criticism extract (taught in 19 units)

'An authoritative survey of Australian Aboriginal writing over two centuries, across a wide range of fiction and non-fiction genres. Including some of the most distinctive writing produced in Australia, it offers rich insights into Aboriginal culture and experience...

'The anthology includes journalism, petitions and political letters from both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as major works that reflect the blossoming of Aboriginal poetry, prose and drama from the mid-twentieth century onwards. Literature has been used as a powerful political tool by Aboriginal people in a political system which renders them largely voiceless. These works chronicle the ongoing suffering of dispossession, but also the resilience of Aboriginal people across the country, and the hope and joy in their lives.' (Publisher's blurb)

y separately published work icon 1988 Andrew McGahan , St Leonards : Allen and Unwin , 1995 Z77695 1995 single work novel (taught in 4 units) 'It's the Bicentennial year and for Gorden - failed writer and bottleshop boy - it seems his life is going nowhere. It's time to escape. From his overcrowded house, from Brisbane, from Expo '88, from everything. He stumbles into Wayne who has connections in Darwin and the promise of work. So the two of them head north towards swamps and crocodiles and sandflies innumerable, in search of inspiration, and of their rightful place in the culture of a nation.' (from back cover)



NB: Information in this Unit Outline is subject to change prior to commencement of semester

It is important for you to acquire knowledge of a range of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australian writings.


This unit aims to improve your analytical, creative as well as oral and written communication skills.


On completion of this unit you would be able to:

1. Read, understand and critically appreciate the diversity of Australian writing within Australia's literary history.

2. Understand and evaluate the ways in which social values and political and artistic movements inform and impact upon the production of literature;

3. Consider and investigate the dichotomy between mainstream writing and marginalized writing within the Australian context;

4. Understand and analyse the variety of genres and forms in contemporary Australian writing;

5. Produce a series of writings and an oral seminar of a critical and creative nature based on a comprehensive analysis of the set texts


This unit provides you with opportunities to read, explore, discuss and critically evaluate a number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous texts written and published in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Upon completing this unit, you will be able to understand and critically engage with fictional texts pertinent to Australian culture, history and society.


Assessment name: Oral presentation

Description: (Summative and Formative)You are required to lead a seminar discussion on a selected topic related to the unit material.

Relates to objectives: 1, 4 & 5

Weight: 20%

Due date: Throughout semester

Assessment name: Major Assignment

Description: (Summative and Formative) Creative and research or Research only One research essay or combination of research essay and creative piece of 2500 words on a selected topic.

Relates to objectives: 1, 3, 4 & 5

Weight: 50%

Due date: End semester

Assessment name: Examination

Description: (Summative and Formative) Journal of responses to lectures and texts. You are required to keep a journal of reflective and analystical responses to set tasks.

Relates to objectives: 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Weight: 30%

Due date: End semester

Supplementary Texts

Ferrier, C (ed.) (1998), Gender, Politics and Fiction, St Lucia: UQP.

Gelder, K & Salzman, P. (1989), The New Diversity, Melbourne: McPhee Gribble.

Gelder , K 7 Salzman, P (2009) After the celebratyion: Australian fiction 1989-2007. Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne University Press

Goodwin, K (1986), A History of Australian Literature, London: Macmillan.

Hergenhan, L (ed.) (1988), The Penguin New Literary History of Australia, Ringwood: Penguin.

Huggan, G (2002), Australian literature: postcolonialism, racism, transnationalism, Oxford& New York: Oxford University Press.

Other Details

Offered in: 2009, 2008 (as "Ozlit")
Current Campus: Kelvin Grove