'Isaac, a Greek Australian in his late 20s, spirals out of control when he's forced to confront his own family's cursed legacy on his first trip to Europe - with the continent's haunted past and troubled present pressing in on him.'
Source: Inside Film website
Epigraph: To a saintly man
- So goes an Arab tale-
God said somewhat maliciously:
'Had I revealed to people
How great a sinner you are,
They could not praise you.'
'And I,' answered the pious one,
'Had I unveiled to them
How merciful you are,
They could not care for you.' (Czeslaw Milosz)
'This article takes up a specific feature of Christos Tsiolkas's writing, his style. Focusing on Tsiolkas's fourth novel, The Slap, this article argues that Tsiolkas’s style is an inarticulate style: a style that does not always use the right word at the right moment, that employs language for narrative utility rather than its own sake, and that sporadically departs from standard usage and correctness in ways that do not appear artistically motivated. My argument is that The Slap is notable among contemporary fiction in that what I consider to be Tsiolkas’s worst sentences are the most revealing of his inclinations as a novelist. Consequently, I depart from what has become a standard formula in Tsiolkas's reception, that where Tsiolkas succeeds as a writer he succeeds in spite of his style. Finally, this article also contributes to recent debates about the purpose and vocabulary of Australian literary discussion: how critics debate the work of a prize-winning author, how criticism and praise operate in critical judgements, and the significance of style in evaluations of literature.' (Publication abstract)
'This article investigates imaginings of Europe in contemporary Australian fiction in order to explore whether (traveling to) Europe provides alternative points of reference to discourses on nation, belonging, and identity beyond the (settler) postcolonial. The article sets out to compare recent works by Peter Carey, Christos Tsiolkas and Gail Jones who narrate Europe against a wide range of backgrounds, covering diverse diasporic, migratory and expatriate experiences, in order to explore the role of Europe as an alternative space, and of European modernities in particular, in the Australian literary imagination. Concentrating on Jack Maggs (1997), Dead Europe (2005) and A Guide to Berlin (2015), the article has a threefold focus: Firstly, it analyses the representation of European spaces and explores how the three novels draw attention to multiple modernities within and beyond Europe. Secondly, it demonstrates how all three novels, in their own way, reveal European modernities to be haunted by its other, i.e. death, superstition, ghosts, or the occult. Thirdly, these previous findings will be synthesized in order to determine how the three novels relate Europe to Australia. Do they challenge or perpetuate the protagonists’ desire for Europe as an ‘imaginary homeland’? Do references to Europe support the construction of national identity in the works under review, or do these references rather point to the emergence of multiple or transnational identities?'
'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.