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Susan Lever Susan Lever i(A11231 works by) (a.k.a. Susan Patricia Lever; S.P. McKernan)
Also writes as: Susan McKernan
Born: Established: 1950 ;
Gender: Female
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Susan Lever graduated with a BA in English Literature from the Australian National University in 1971, and completed a Diploma of Librarianship at the Canberra College of Advanced Education in 1972. In 1975 she moved to Sydney, completing an MA (1978) and a PhD (1981) in Australian literature at the University of Sydney. Lever has taught literature at the Canberra College of Advanced Education, the Australian National University and, from 1986, at the University of New South Wales at ADFA.

Lever has been a regular reviewer for the Canberra Times, the Bulletin and occasionally for ABC Radio and other newspapers. From 1994-1996 she was President of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature and was a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council from 1991-1994.

In addition to her reviewing work, Lever has published numerous articles on Australian writing, critical books and several edited books, including the Oxford Book of Australian Women's Verse. She is also the general editor of the Cambria Australian Literature series. Professor Lever has been awarded with life membership of ASAL (Association for the Study of Australian Literature) for her “outstanding contribution to ASAL and to the scholarship of Australian literature more broadly.”

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Creating Australian Television Drama : A Screenwriting History North Melbourne : Australian Scholarly Publishing , 2020 19524055 2020 single work multi chapter work criticism

'Television drama has been the dominant form of popular storytelling for more than sixty years, shaping the imaginations of millions of people. This book surveys the careers of the central creators of those stories for Australian television—the writers who learnt how to work in a new medium, adapting to its constraints and exploring its creative possibilities. Informed by interviews with many writers, it describes the establishment of Australian television drama production, observing the way writers grasped the creative and business opportunities that television presented. It examines the development of Australian versions of the major television genres—the sitcom, the police drama, the historical series, docudrama, and social drama— presenting a ‘canon’ of significant Australian television drama productions that deserve to be remembered. It offers an account of the emergence of work by Indigenous writers for television and it argues for the consideration of television drama alongside histories of Australian film and stage drama.'

(Source: publisher's blurb)

2021 finalist ASAL Awards Walter McRae Russell Award
y separately published work icon The Fiction of Thea Astley Amherst : Cambria Press , 2016 9631871 2016 multi chapter work criticism

'Thea Astley is one of the outstanding Australian fiction writers of the twentieth century. Four of her novels, including her last, Drylands (1999), won the prestigious Miles Franklin prize, and she was awarded numerous literary and civic honors during her lifetime. Always a writer who avoided solemnity and undercut her characters' claims to heroism of any kind, she reveled in the new-found capacity to mock male pretension and assert female rebellion. Perhaps because of this, her late masterpieces have not yet had the proper recognition that is due to them. This book examines Astley's works and reinforces her standing as a major novelist. The main organizing principle in this study of Astley's fiction is her representation of place and power relations, and the innovative work of historicizing place. Continuing threads from chapter to chapter include the modes of irony, humor, and satire; her varying use of point of view; and her characteristic compression of language and narrative. Descriptive accounts of the novels are offered to raise broader issues of interpretation. Over the period 1986 to 1999 she produced six major works which amply demonstrate her capacity to bring together a critical exploration of patriarchal power relations and a postcolonial perspective on race relations. Also important in her later stories is her satire on the worship of unbridled 'development' which dominated Australian economic and social life in this period, especially in Queensland. The currency of such political and moral issues frames her work, yet her lively engagement with them was never merely topical, but grew out of that acute yet compassionate consciousness of human weakness, formed by her Catholic upbringing, and the darkly comic sensibility draws all these elements into relationship in Astley's art. This book, which is in the Cambria Australian Literature Series (general editor: Susan Lever; see http: // will encourage readers familiar with Astley's work to revisit it and reconsider her lifelong achievement, and it will also lead a whole new generation of readers to enter her imaginative world, to be moved and informed by it.' (Publication summary)

2016 shortlisted ASAL Awards Walter McRae Russell Award
y separately published work icon David Foster : The Satirist of Australia Youngstown : Cambria Press , 2008 Z1466326 2008 multi chapter work criticism 'In this first critical study of David Foster's works, Susan Lever steers us into penetrating the mysteries of Foster's fiction, and provides guidance to readers willing to approach them. The book examines the contradictory nature of his commitments and interests as expressed mainly in his novels. Each of his works of fiction and poetry in the order of publication (except for The Adventures of Christian Rosy Cross and The Pale Blue Crochet Coathanger Cover which are discussed with similar novels) are discussed. The development of Foster's philosophical ideas and technique as a novelist over the 35 years of his writing life to date is followed. The book also examines Foster's letters to Geoffrey Dutton early in his career; his interviews and essays provide some of the background to these novels. The book also furnishes a sense of the Australian context for his work. A brief biography of Foster's early life and a discussion of his approach to satire is also included.' (Publisher's blurb)
2009 shortlisted ASAL Awards Walter McRae Russell Award
Last amended 14 Jun 2021 16:43:53
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