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Australian Texts And Traditions (HEA272)
Semester 2 / 2010


form y separately published work icon Puberty Blues Margaret Kelly , ( dir. Bruce Beresford ) Sydney : Limelight Productions , 1981 Z826184 1981 single work film/TV (taught in 3 units)

Debbie and Sue are accepted into Greenhill Beach's gang, an elite group of teenagers occupying a particular stretch of Cronulla beachfront. As surfie groupies, Debbie and Sue find out that they are expected to submit to male whims and play out 'strange' rituals, such as not eating or going to the bathroom when a boy is around. The girls' life mainly consists of doing what everyone else does: watching the boys surf, having sex with them (in the back seat of cars and at home-alone parties), and getting drunk. The narrative maintains a humorously ironic distance from the awfulness of the scene, particularly through the use of narration. The boys, though portrayed as collectively dominant, are individually consigned to the margins, while Debbie and Sue ultimately break out of the confines of male-imposed rules.

y separately published work icon Coonardoo : The Well in the Shadow Katharine Susannah Prichard , 1928 Z1081769 1928 single work novel (taught in 39 units) Set in North-West of Western Australia, it describes life on cattle stations and the relationship between the white owner of the station and Coonardoo, an Aboriginal woman.
y separately published work icon Seven Versions of an Australian Badland Ross Gibson , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2002 Z1005706 2002 single work prose travel mystery (taught in 8 units)

'Part road movie, part memoir, part murder mystery, Seven Versions of an Australian Badland embarks on an enthralling journey through time, into the realms of myth and magic, narcissism and genocide.' (Back cover)

y separately published work icon Loaded Christos Tsiolkas , Milsons Point : Vintage Australia , 1995 Z565443 1995 single work novel (taught in 40 units)

'Families can detonate. Some families are torn apart forever by one small act, one solitary mistake. In my family it was a series of small explosions; consistent, passionate, pathetic. Cruel words, crude threats... We spurred each other on till we reached a crescendo of pain and we retired exhausted to our rooms, in tears or in fury.

'Ari is nineteen, unemployed and a poofter who doesn't want to be gay. He is looking for something - anything - to take him away from his aimless existence in suburban Melbourne. He doesn't believe in anyone or anything, except the power of music. All he wants to do is dance, take drugs, have sex and change the world.

'For Ari, all the orthodoxies of family, sex, politics and work have collapsed. Caught between the traditional Greek world of his parents and friends and the alluring, destructive world of clubs, chemicals and anonymous sex, all Ari can do is ease his pain in the only ways he knows how.

'Written in stark, uncompromising prose, Loaded is a first novel of great passion and power.' (From the publisher's website.)

form y separately published work icon Van Diemen's Land Jonathan Auf Der Heide , Oscar Redding , ( dir. Jonathan Auf Der Heide ) Australia : Noise & Light , 2009 Z1606479 2009 single work film/TV crime historical fiction (taught in 1 units)

Exposure, desperation, hunger - three motivations that drive the characters of Van Diemen's Land to perform acts of despicable horror. Set in 1822, the film retells the story of Alexander Pearce, the notorious Irish convict who cannibalised his fellow escapees while absconding in the wilds of Tasmania.

form y separately published work icon Mad Max James McCausland , George Miller , ( dir. George Miller ) Australia : Kennedy Miller Entertainment , 1979 Z1040124 1979 single work film/TV science fiction (taught in 5 units)

In a post-apocalyptic Australia, law and order has begun to break down due to energy shortages, despite the efforts of Main Force Patrol (MFP) officers like Max Rockatansky. After Rockatansky encounters Toecutter's motorcycle gang, who are running runshod over isolated communities, he grows disillusioned with his role in the MFP. At first convinced by his superior officer not to resign, he is driven into a state of cold-blooded revenge when Toecutter's gang murder his wife and young son.

y separately published work icon Homework Suneeta Peres da Costa , London : Bloomsbury , 1999 Z410161 1999 single work novel (taught in 1 units) 'Homework tells the story of Mina Pereira, born with antennae on top of her head which reflect all she feels, standing straight up with excitement, or drooping with humiliation. With a touch of magical realism, the author paints a lush portrait of Mina's childhood. Mina Pereira longs for a conventional childhood, but it's no wonder-- with the barometric protrusions wired to her brain--she feels a bit like the outsider. What's worse is her overwhelmingly precocious sister, Deepa (she's read all of Dostoevsky by the time she is eight years old), and her younger sister, Shanti, normal beyond reproach. Mina's mother, whose recent illness leaves her barren and literally roosting in trees, doesn't help matters. Mina worries for her mom's well being and while she seeks ways to give her solace, only ends up disappointing her. Mina's father, a revolutionary at heart, manages to pass along heroic advice, even if it does preclude Mina from joining the club of girl scouts. Still, he and Mina share a special bond, although as his wife becomes less and less sane, he retreats from the family, spending more and more of his time in the basement, tinkering. As madness takes hold of Mina's family, the house they live in falls further and further into disrepair until Dad tinkers one time too many with disastrous results. Through all of Mina's experiences, she comes to an understanding about love and family-with not a little heartache, but with maturity and clarity and ultimately, a deep humanity.' Source: (Sighted 01/04/2008).


Australian Texts and Traditions considers some of the major texts, authors and developments in Australian Literature over the last 150 years. It explores key themes in Australian literature including its role in the development of cultural nationalism; the expression of creative responses to place and landscape; the engagement with the legacies of colonial history; and the articulation of Australian identities.


3000 words of internal written assessment (60%); 2-hour examination (40%)

Other Details

Current Campus: Hobart
Levels: Undergraduate