'His father dead by fire and his mother plagued by demons of her own, William is cast upon the charity of his unknown uncle - an embittered old man encamped in the ruins of a once great station homestead, Kuran House. It's a baffling and sinister new world for the boy, a place of decay and secret histories. His uncle is obsessed by a long life of decline and by a dark quest for revival, his mother is desperate for a wealth and security she has never known, and all their hopes it seems come to rest upon William's young shoulders. But as the past and present of Kuran Station unravel and merge together, the price of that inheritance may prove to be the downfall of them all. The White Earth is a haunting, disturbing and cautionary tale.' (publisher's website)
'When eight-year-old William witnesses his father burn to death in a freak farming accident, William and his sickly mother are cast upon the charity of a mysterious uncle, John McIvor. Encamped alone in the ruins of the once great station homestead, Kuran House, the aging McIvor is desperate for an heir and sets his sights upon the boy.
'Set against the background of the Native Title debate, this sweeping saga switches between William's present and McIvor's troubled past. Before these storylines collide in a dramatic climax, we are introduced to devious housekeepers, family secrets and a mythical Australian landscape of ghosts and monsters.'
Source : www.laboite.com.au (Sighted 10/02/2009).
'Writing Belonging at the Millennium brings together two pressing and interrelated matters: the global environmental impacts of post-industrial economies and the politics of place in settler-colonial societies. It focuses on Australia at the millennium, when the legacies of colonization intersected with intensifying environmental challenges in a climate of anxiety surrounding settler-colonial belonging. The question of what belonging means is central to the discussion of the unfolding politics of place in Australia and beyond.
'In this book, Emily Potter negotiates the meaning of belonging in a settler-colonial field and considers the role of literary texts in feeding and contesting these legacies and anxieties. Its intention is to interrogate the assumption that non-indigenous Australians' increasingly unsustainable environmental practices represent a failure on their part to adequately belong in the country. Writing Belonging at the Millennium explores the idea of unsettled non-indigenous belonging as context for the emergence of potentially decolonized relations with place in a time of heightened global environmental concern.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'This is the first book to examine how Australian fiction writers draw on family histories to reckon with the nation's colonial past. Located at the intersection of literature, history, and sociology, it explores the relationships between family storytelling, memory, and postcolonial identity. With attention to the political potential of family histories, Reckoning with the Past argues that authors' often autobiographical works enable us to uncover, confront, and revise national mythologies. An important contribution to the emerging global conversation about multidirectional memory and the need to attend to the effects of colonisation, this book will appeal to an interdisciplinary field of scholarly readers. '
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'This is the first in-depth, broad-based study of the impact of the Australian High Court’s landmark Mabo decision of 1992 on Australian fiction. More than any other event in Australia’s legal, political and cultural history, the Mabo judgement – which recognised indigenous Australians’ customary native title to land – challenged previous ways of thinking about land and space, settlement and belonging, race and relationships, and nation and history, both historically and contemporaneously. While Mabo’s impact on history, law, politics and film has been the focus of scholarly attention, the study of its influence on literature has been sporadic and largely limited to examinations of non-Aboriginal novels.
'Now, a quarter of a century after Mabo, this book takes a closer look at nineteen contemporary novels – including works by David Malouf, Alex Miller, Kate Grenville, Thea Astley, Tim Winton, Michelle de Kretser, Richard Flanagan, Alexis Wright and Kim Scott – in order to define and describe Australia’s literary imaginary as it reflects and articulates post-Mabo discourse today. Indeed, literature’s substantial engagement with Mabo’s cultural legacy – the acknowledgement of indigenous people’s presence in the land, in history, and in public affairs, as opposed to their absence – demands a re-writing of literary history to account for a “Mabo turn” in Australian fiction. ' (Publication summary)
'This article discusses the evocation of the Gothic as a narrative interrogation of the intersections between place, identity and power in Andrew McGahan's The White Earth (2004). The novel deploys common techniques of Gothic literary fiction to create a sense of disassociation from the grip of a European colonial sensibility. It achieves this in various ways, including by representing its central architectural figure of colonial dominance, Kuran House, as an emblem of aristocratic pastoral decline, then by invoking intimations of an ancient supernatural presence which intercedes in the linear descent of colonial possession and, ultimately, by providing a rational explanation for the novel's events. The White Earth further demonstrates the inherently adaptive qualities of Gothic narrative technique as a means of confronting the limits to white belonging in post-colonial Australia by referencing a key historical moment, the 1992 Mabo judgment, which rejected the concept of terra nullius and recognised native title under Australian common law. At once discursive and performative, the sustained way in which the work employs the tropic power of Gothic anxiety serves to reveal the uncertain terms in which its characters negotiate what it means to be Australian, more than 200 years after colonial invasion.' (Publication abstract)