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y separately published work icon Joan Makes History single work   novel   historical fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 1988... 1988 Joan Makes History
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Australia's history retold through the eyes of Joan, a woman who has never rated a mention in the school books. Joan leads many lives: she is a wife and mother of no great distinction, but in the life of her imagination she is present at all the big moments of Australia's past. (Source: Trove)




  • Dedication: For Bruce
  • Discussion notes available.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Latham, Albany, New York (State),
      United States of America (USA),
      British American Pub. ,
      1988 .
      image of person or book cover 248640043779361290.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 279p.
      ISBN: 0945167091
    • London,
      United Kingdom (UK),
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Heinemann ,
      1989 .
      image of person or book cover 173075424841458219.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 285p.
      Reprinted: 5 Dec 1991
      ISBN: 0434304506
Alternative title: Joan Skriver Historia
Language: Swedish
    • Stockholm,
      Scandinavia, Western Europe, Europe,
      Legenda ,
      1990 .
      image of person or book cover 6598058566398122346.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 211p.
      ISBN: 9158214186

Other Formats

  • Large print.
  • Sound recording.

Works about this Work

guo jia qing dian yu ao da li ya li shi xiao shuo Celebration of a Nation : The Bicentenary and the Australian Historical Novels Jie Huang , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Foreign Literature Review , vol. [2017] no. 3 2017; (p. 122-140)


Source: CAOD.

Manifestations of Landscape, Language and Ethnicity in Post-War Australian Literature Deepkumar J. Trivedi , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Narratives of Estrangement and Belonging : Indo-Australian Perspectives 2016; (p. 75-92)

'The post-war Australian literature offers multitude in terms of ethnicity. The talk of Aborigines, the stories of the whites, the psychological state of a migrant mind, the idea of home, the civilization and savagery, superiority and inferiority, rationality and sensuality, these all share the pages of Australian literature…' (75)

Implicit Acts of Filth : The Parodic Virtues of Cleanliness Aritha van Herk , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : Special Issue Website Series , October no. 33 2015;
'From ‘the Wolf’ Wolfe in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction to the laundress in Kate Grenville’s Joan Makes History, the act of nettoyage is called into service as an intertextual gesture toward decoding all that is virtuous (or not), all that is filthy (or not). As an inevitable repetition or agent of redundancy, complete with all the recursive energies of concealment and discovery, cleaning and the cleaner serve a parodic practice that has been entirely overlooked in its representation in various forms of narrative (fiction, film, and image). Parody may be, as Hutcheon claims, ‘a more restricted form, in pragmatic terms, than allusion or quotation’ (1985: 50), but it has also not been accorded the power that it wields in a quotidian presence, its gestural and recitative marking performing a contestation that is ignored because it is ‘unmarked’ (60). In short, its association with the erotic and the criminal, erasure and commodification, make nettoyage a transgressive site in disguise. Scouring and laundering’s ‘transcontextualizing’ power resides in its invisibility, and its work as an ‘authorized transgression’ (Hutcheon 1985: 101) enunciates a persistent parodic presence in an aesthetically incognizant world. The play of disinfectant as part of Foucault’s ‘writing of things’ thus alludes to parody’s most powerful affect: its connection to the most ordinary and quotidian of gestures, doubled by cultural aesthetic and instructional pragmatism.' (Publication abstract)
Joan Makes History : A Bicentennial Novel Jie Huang , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Studies in China : Research on Australia by Chinese Scholars 2014;
'In 1988, Australia celebrated the Bicentenary of European settlement in the Australian continent. Once inaugurated, this event was soon endowed with great historical and political importance. This “national celebration” became a discursive field in which different political forces carried out their struggle against each other. Joan Makes History (1988) by Australian woman writer Kate Grenville is a typical Bicentennial novel, reflecting a distinct climate of expectations, values and interests of that period; it is also a consequence of a feminist writer’s active involvement in this highly influential national debate and her endeavor to occupy a position in the Bicentenary nationalist discursive system.' (Publication abstract)
Empathic Deterritorialisation : Re-Mapping the Postcolonial Novel in Creative Writing Classrooms A. Frances Johnson , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 12 no. 1 2012;
'Michael Dodson has commented that the 'repossession of our past is the repossession of ourselves' - yet since the 1980s, the translation of such imperatives within literary and historical colonial archival research has been tightly circumscribed by controversial, often agonistic identity debates. Reflection on the broad emotional imprimateurs guiding intellectual and creative research activity have been muted, variously repressed or backgrounded, voided by (white) shame or tact, and often deferred to Indigenous commentators for framing commentaries. Vehement stoushes between the disciplinary cousins of history and literature have also erupted as part of recent local history and culture wars debates. With hindsight, these seemingly 'emotional' yet supra-rational debates, focusing righteously on entitlement and access to colonial archives, seem to have lacked so-called emotional intelligence and (inter)disciplinary imagination. The arguments of the protagonists have now have been 'tidied away', leaving a subsidence of unscholarly embarrassment in their wake.

I aim to show that despite the problematic inheritance of these public debates, many historians, novelists and cultural critics (Elspeth Probyn, the late Greg Dening, Kate Grenville, Kim Scott and others) have managed to rigorously contest and (re)present colonial archival material without repudiating their own emotional involvement with 'the Australian past' in order to maintain scholarly distance. They have understood, in Marcia Langton's phrase, that 'some of us have lived through it, are living through it. This is not an exercise in historiography alone, and therefore presents problems beyond that of traditional historiography.' My analysis of these writer's commentaries will be contextualised against Langton's idea of intercultural subjectivity, which emphasises a discursive intextuality that can be engaged with equally by black and white artists, critics and writers across the genres. Langton, Dening, Grenville, Scott and others will be shown as thinkers who lead the way in suggesting and/or demonstrating how postcolonial novels can be taught and made.' (Author's abstract)
Kate Grenville's Enduring Witches Carolyn Tetaz , 2002-2003 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , December-January no. 247 2002-2003; (p. 65)

— Review of Bearded Ladies : Stories Kate Grenville , 1984 selected work short story poetry ; Dreamhouse Kate Grenville , 1986 single work novel ; Joan Makes History Kate Grenville , 1988 single work novel
Second Look Peter Craven , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 6 April 2003; (p. 10)

— Review of Joan Makes History Kate Grenville , 1988 single work novel
[Review] Joan Makes History Kate Veitch , 1988 single work review
— Appears in: Fremantle Arts Review , September vol. 3 no. 9 1988; (p. 15)

— Review of Joan Makes History Kate Grenville , 1988 single work novel
Dusk, Sunlight, Fire Martin Flanagan , 1988 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , October no. 112 1988; (p. 77-78)

— Review of Voices Peter Cowan , 1988 selected work short story ; Joan Makes History Kate Grenville , 1988 single work novel ; Out of the Line of Fire Mark Henshaw , 1988 single work novel
Fantasy of the Female Susan McKernan , 1988 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 3 May vol. 110 no. 5617 1988; (p. 127)

— Review of Fictions 88 1988 anthology short story ; Poetry Australia no. 114 Philip Hodgins , 1988 periodical issue poetry ; Joan Makes History Kate Grenville , 1988 single work novel
Sociological and Historical Perspectives on Australia as Portrayed by Contemporary Australian Writers Rosemary Kerr , 1995-1996 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Commonwealth Review , vol. 7 no. 1 1995-1996; (p. 19-27)
"Africa and Australia" Revisited" Reading Kate Grenville's Joan Makes History Kwaku Larbi Korang , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 17 no. 1 2003; (p. 5-12) Lighting Dark Places : Essays on Kate Grenville 2010; (p. 73-92)
Korang engages with Grenville's novel Joan Makes History from the perspective of his 'reading self', that is 'African, male, non-white and non-Australian'. Through this experience, he discovers that 'against the ironic necessity of accepting that each time we travel we discover ourselves only, we must posit the freedom to make the disclaimer, postcolonially, that in our worldly encounters we are enjoined to discover in ourselves other selves.'
The Return of the Oppressed : Re-Writing the Female Self in Lilian's Story and Joan Makes History Mridula Jose , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Cultural Interfaces 2004; (p. 100-106)
Examining the female protagonists in two of Grenville's novels, Jose concludes that 'Storytelling is one of the strongest strategies used by Grenville. The story replaces what happens, and having control over the story provides control over the truth. It is the one who tells the story, who is made immortal. Grenville has control, very much like her protagonists Lilian and Joan. It is in the act of "telling" and "voicing" their stories, that Grenville is able to avenge those who have tradtionally been rendered voiceless.'
Joan Makes Her Mark as 'Living History' Russell Wenholz , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: Canberra Sunday Times , 25 June 2006; (p. 14)
Kate Grenville's Mythopoeic Imagination : A Study of Her Novels Atiqa Masih , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Caring Cultures : Sharing Imaginations : Australia and India 2006; (p. 131-141)
The article examines the portrayal of female characters and the female voice in the novels of Kate Grenville.
Last amended 6 Mar 2020 11:48:37