'I haven't got a 'boyfriend', Mum." "Fine way to be carrying on then, out all Sat'dy night with a strange fella..." "Muuum. " "Don't you marm me, my girl. When I was your age I wasn't out running around with any stray bloke with a flash car and the gift of the gab. "And when I'm your age, thought Sue maliciously, I won't be ringing up my kids to scab money and make their lives a misery into the bargain. Sue Wilson, young and Aboriginal, escapes her "too-large, too-poor family in a too-small" north Queensland town for Logan City's frontier sprawl. Entering "the mythic world of Work" she discovers that the view from behind the bar is less than glamorous, but pays the rent. When she meets Roger the good times begin to roll until she finds herself starring in a feature with medium level violence. Melissa Lucashenko's first novel makes no apologies. With direct and gutsy language, her characters live their lives in the shadows cast by indifferent affluence.' (Source: UQP website: www.uqp.uq.edu.au)
'Emerging in the second half of the twentieth century from the traditions of the oldest living cultures on earth - the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia - the Indigenous Australian novel makes a unique contribution to the history of the novel in its contemporary phase...' (Introduction)
'The geographical entities of Australia and Canada house multifarious localities, regions and nations. Juxtaposing literary work emerging from them can open up invaluable new angles of critical inquiry at a moment when literary scholars in both countries seek insight into the relationship between national literatures and transnational forces.
'Upholding the value of comparing Australian and Canadian literatures is an urgent task at present given that interest in this juxtaposition seems to be diminishing.' (Publication abstract)
'Cultural narratives also function as lifelines in the work of another Queensland Indigenous woman writer, Vivienne Cleven. Cleven's novel, Bitin’ Back (2001), begins when Mavis Dooley's son, Nevil, announces that he is no longer Nevil, but the writer Jean Rhys. Although Nevil eventually reveals that he has simply been acting as a woman in order to understand the protagonist of the novel he is writing, his choice of Rhys in particular is significant. Nevil selected Jean Rhys as a signifier of his female role because, he explains:
She's my favourite author; she wrote Wide Sargasso Sea . She was ahead of her time; she wrote about society's underdogs; about rejection and the madness of isolation. I know it sounds all crazy to you, Ma, but this is about who I am . . . [A] lot of people would never understand me and they wouldn't want to. (2001: 184)' (Publication abstract)