'With urban imaginaries and city-making in mind, and cognisant of the complicity of cities in socio-ecological crises, this paper responds to recent events in Melbourne and Sydney involving the expansion of certain powers to penalise the disadvantaged and homeless, and to clean up city streets. I discern in these events the material and discursive articulations of capitalist-colonial urban imaginaries. I go on to explore fiction’s capacities to resist these articulations and to affect the real, and the capacities in Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book, and Janette Turner Hospital’s The Last Magician to cultivate readers’ sense of cities as constantly varying, permeable assemblages, rather than as constantly improving, coherent, stable, secure organisms. These novels expand readers’ abilities to transform urban imaginaries and make cities differently.' (Publication abstract)
'The first half of this paper gives a short orientation to the novel then prodeeds to analyse the way in which Hospital enables her readers to become more aware of how the identities of individual subjects and "global" Australians are constructed. I argue that she encourages her readers to critique the process of identity acquisition by moving the (tired though nevertheless effective) dichotomy of inclusion/exclusion to examine the suffering that it constitutes' (121-122).