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Australian Literature and the Postcolonial Challenge (EL316)
2011

Texts

y separately published work icon Dirt Music Tim Winton , Sydney : Picador , 2001 Z918096 2001 single work novel (taught in 15 units)

'Georgie Jutland is a mess. At forty, with her career in ruins, she finds herself stranded in White Point with a fisherman she doesn't love and two kids whose dead mother she can never replace. Her days have fallen into domestic tedium and social isolation. Her nights are a blur of vodka and pointless loitering in cyberspace. Leached of all confidence, Georgie has lost her way; she barely recognises herself.

'One morning, in the boozy pre-dawn gloom, she looks up from the computer screen to see a shadow lurking on the beach below, and a dangerous new element enters her life. Luther Fox, the local poacher. Jinx. Outcast...' (From the publisher's website.)

y separately published work icon The Transit of Venus Shirley Hazzard , New York (City) : Viking , 1980 Z391036 1980 single work novel (taught in 6 units)
y separately published work icon The Secret River Kate Grenville , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2005 Z1194031 2005 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 69 units)

'In 1806 William Thornhill, a man of quick temper and deep feelings, is transported from the slums of London to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. With his wife Sal and their children he arrives in a harsh land he cannot understand.

'But the colony can turn a convict into a free man. Eight years later Thornhill sails up the Hawkesbury to claim a hundred acres for himself.

'Aboriginal people already live on that river. And other recent arrivals - Thomas Blackwood, Smasher Sullivan and Mrs Herring - are finding their own ways to respond to them.

'Thornhill, a man neither better nor worse than most, soon has to make the most difficult choice of his life.

'Inspired by research into her own family history, Kate Grenville vividly creates the reality of settler life, its longings, dangers and dilemmas. The Secret River is a brilliantly written book, a groundbreaking story about identity, belonging and ownership.' (From the publisher's website.)

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 Night Letters : A Journey Through Switzerland and Italy Edited and Annotated by Igor Miazmov Robert Dessaix , Sydney : Macmillan Australia , 1996 Z529292 1996 single work novel (taught in 7 units) 'Every night for twenty nights in a hotel room in Venice, an Australian man recently diagnosed with an incurable disease writes a letter home to a friend. In these letters he reflects on questions of mortality, seduction and the search for paradise in deeply life-enhancing ways.' (From publisher's web site.)
y separately published work icon Bliss Peter Carey , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1981 8407782 1981 single work novel (taught in 11 units)

'For thirty-nine years Harry Joy has been the quintessential good guy. But one morning Harry has a heart attack on his suburban front lawn, and, for the space of nine minutes, he becomes a dead guy. And although he is resuscitated, he will never be the same. For, as Peter Carey makes abundantly clear in this darkly funny novel, death is sometimes a necessary prelude to real life.' (From the author's website.)

Description

A focus on exciting and innovative developments in Australian fiction, poetry and drama since is a feature of this unit. A

study is made of the movement away from the intense nationalism and the realism characteristic of Australian literature

in the early years of the twentieth century. Students consider the ways in which the spiritual and cultural uncertainties of

contemporary Australian life are reflected in the literature and film of the period and explore contemporary attitudes to

history, myth, memory, imagination and a changing awareness of 'place' in the national consciousness. Films include Mad

Max, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and The Castle.

Other Details

Current Campus: Fremantle
Levels: Undergraduate
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