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y separately published work icon Landscape of Farewell single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2007... 2007 Landscape of Farewell
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Landscape of Farewell ... is the story of Max Otto, an elderly German academic. After the death of his much-loved wife and his recognition that he will never write the great study of history that was to be his life's crowning work, Max believes his life is all but over. Everything changes, though, when his valedictory lecture is challenged by Professor Vita McLelland, a feisty young Australian Aboriginal academic visiting Germany. Their meeting and growing friendship sets Max on a journey that would have seemed unthinkable just a few short weeks earlier.

'When, at Vita's invitation, Max travels to Australia, he forms a deep friendship with her uncle, Aboriginal elder Dougald Gnapun. It is a friendship that not only gives new meaning and purpose to Max, but which teaches him the profound importance of truth-telling in reconciliation with his own and his country's past.' (Publisher's blurb)




  • Dedication: For Stephanie & for my friend Frank Budby, elder of the Barada.
  • Epigraph: From where rises the high tide of desire, of expectation, of an obsession with sheer being defiant of pain, of the treadmill of enslavement and injustice, of the massacres that are history? - George Steiner.
  • According to Corrie Perkin (Weekend Australian, 16-17 February 2008) the character of Professor Vita McLelland is based on Dr Anita Heiss (q.v.) whom Miller met in Hamburg during a conference on Indigenous literature.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2007 .
      image of person or book cover 4988421665830443222.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 279p.
      • Includes Acknowledgments p.276-279.
      ISBN: 9781741750898 (pbk.), 9781741753752 (hbk)
    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2017 .
      image of person or book cover 3924581107724769756.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 259p.
      • Published 1 January 2017
      ISBN: 9781925576122
Alternative title: Bie le, na dao feng jing
Language: Chinese
    • Beijing,
      East Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
      人民文学出版社 ,
      2009 .
      image of person or book cover 620663475608994704.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 2, 5, 244 p.p.
      ISBN: 9787020072460, : 7020072461

Other Formats

  • Sound recording.
  • Braille.
  • Dyslexic edition.

Works about this Work

White Apology and Apologia : Australian Novels of Reconciliation by Liliana Zavaglia Lukas Klik , 2020 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , April vol. 35 no. 1 2020;

'From at least the early 1990s, when the Hawke Labor Government introduced reconciliation legislation into the Australian parliament, the concept of reconciliation has attracted criticism from both the political left and right. While some have complained of it as a predominantly white undertaking, others have seen it as a threat to the unity of the Australian nation-state. Following the election of John Howard in 1996, reconciliation met fierce resistance from the Federal Government itself, with Howard rejecting the recommendations of the 1997 Bringing Them Home report and refusing to apologise to Indigenous Australians for their ongoing sufferings at the hands of British colonialism. This is the political climate that provides the backdrop for the five novels, all written between 2002 and 2007, which Liliana Zavaglia examines in White Apology and Apologia: Australian Novels of Reconciliation (2016). In her book, Zavaglia deliberately chooses to focus exclusively on works by Anglo-Australian writers to examine how whiteness operates in contemporary Australia. Though she conceives of her primary texts as characteristic of a liberal whiteness that ‘worked to counter [the] political attempts [by the Liberal government] to silence the Indigenous rights and reconciliation movements’ (1), she argues that they, at the same time, articulate the ‘double movement of apology and apologia’ (3) typical of whiteness in Australia. Etymologically, ‘apology’ and ‘apologia’ are cognates of the Greek and Latin apologia, respectively. Despite their common roots, however, they differ significantly in terms of meaning, for while the first implies remorse, the latter, a later borrowing of the Latin form, indicates defence and justification. By identifying moments of both apology and apologia, Zavaglia suggests, the novels she discusses reveal the ‘discourse of liberal postcolonial whiteness [to be] a riven and conflicted site, driven in a hopeful quest to heal its relations with the other, even as its normative traces continue in the legacy bequeathed to it by its colonial foundations’ (21). What then follows is an elaborate investigation of this divided and disrupted nature of Australian whiteness, as it manifests itself in contemporary Anglo-Australian fiction.' (Publication abstract)

Narrating Historical Massacre : Alex Miller’s 'Landscape of Farewell' Maggie Nolan , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 16 no. 1 2016;

'This article scrutinises Alex Miller’s Landscape of Farewell (2007) through the lens of massacre. It explores the troubling implications of the novel’s sustained analogy between the generational effects for Indigenous Australian perpetrators of a massacre and the children of Nazis, and questions the novel’s capacity to contribute to reconciliation, in spite of drawing upon many of reconciliation’s key tropes. Drawing on the insights of comparative Holocaust studies, this article unpacks the novel’s representation of massacre and genocide, and the subtle comparison between Indigenous belonging to country and Nazi attachment to national space. Finally, through the work of Dominick LaCapra, it scrutinises the obfuscatory representation of the perpetrator, and the novel’s seeming projection of a form of perpetrator guilt onto the Indigenous subject.' (Publication abstract)

y separately published work icon White Apology and Apologia : Australian Novels of Reconciliation Liliana Zavaglia , Amherst : Cambria Press , 2016 10291354 2016 multi chapter work criticism

'This book takes as its subject a body of recent fiction by white liberal writers produced in the wake of the profound cultural, political and legal transformations that have taken place in the field of Indigenous rights since the 1990s. Two milestones of this period are the High Court of Australia’s Mabo ruling on June 3, 1992, and the Rudd Labor Government’s national Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples on February 13, 2008. The novels explored in this study are Alex Miller’s Journey to the Stone Country (2002) and Landscape of Farewell (2007), Andrew McGahan’s The White Earth (2004), Kate Grenville’s The Secret River (2005) and Gail Jones’ Sorry (2007). Each of these novels was written in the period between 2002 and 2007. These were the years when the Indigenous rights and reconciliation movements had all but disappeared from the national political agenda through the interventions of the Howard Liberal Government. These works attempted to counter these silences as acts of literary activism, which strived to reignite the politically stalled processes of reconciliation. Through the medium of fiction, they kept Indigenous justice issues before the reading public, provoking discussion and stirring debate.

'White Apology and Apologia engages in close readings of the Mabo ruling, the national Apology and this body of fiction as a form of cultural history, which reflects important aspects of black/white relations in the past twenty-five years. Together, these legal, political and literary texts reveal a tension that arguably came to define this period. This tension fluctuates between a reconciliatory impulse of sorrow for Indigenous loss and the defensive desire to offer exits for white culture from the ongoing demands of a violent settlement history. Taking shape as twinned register of white longing, this conflicted cultural drive is the focus of this study.

'Each of these novels has had a significant reception and impact. All were shortlisted by the Miles Franklin Award with two taking out the coveted prize. While much critical attention has been given to their fictional explorations of reconciliation and the colonial past, this is the first study to focus on the novels as a collection of cultural artefacts from a brief but remarkable time in Australia’s recent history. In their attempts to explore Indigenous loss and dispossession, the novels can be seen as complex literary engagements with issues of the greatest moment in the contemporary public sphere. Together, they provide a significant snapshot of an ambivalent postcolonial culture in flux.

'Through an exploration of these important documents and texts of reconciliation, this study is able to offer symptomatic close readings of Australian liberal whiteness in the process of coming to terms with its troubling history. Providing new insights into how legal, historical, political, and literary discourses can influence each other in the quest for justice, White Apology and Apologia attempts to understand the relation between Australian literature and the culture that produced it. In the process it reveals the riven state of Australian postcolonial whiteness itself, which has been transformed by the legal, political and cultural shifts of the 1990s, yet which paradoxically resists its own deconstructions even as it longs for the dismantling of its own hegemony. The double movement of apology and apologia explored in this timely and important study is a startling reminder of the unresolved nature of the traumatized colonial legacy bequeathed to Australian settler culture by its history, and which continues to accompany white liberal discourse in its quest to heal its relations with the other.

'White Apology and Apologia is an important book for Australian literary and cultural studies collections.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Listening to Alex Miller's Soundscapes Joseph Cummins , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 13 no. 2 2013;
'Australian novelist Alex Miller’s two novels, Journey to the Stone Country (2002) and Landscape of Farewell (2007), present journeys into a web of interconnected northern Queensland landscapes. Sound is a vital aspect of these landscapes. Listening to the sounds and silences of these novels opens up imaginative, post-colonial geographies, Australian landscapes that exceed the horizons of colonial vision. This paper deploys a critical listening practice that seeks to listen to how Miller’s soundscapes construct the relations that resonate between his characters, and between the characters and the sonic landscape. Listening to the central relationships of the two novels, I argue that these relationships unfold within the resonance of the sounds and silences of Miller’s landscapes. His characters are located in a soundscape that extends the dimensions of the visual landscape: through sound and listening the human/human and human/landscape relations in the novels exceed the spatiality and temporality that has traditionally, silently, produced the self/other structure of colonial mastery.' (Author's abstract)
Trusting the Words : Reflections on Landscape of Farewell Raimond Gaita , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 217-230)
'I'm not a literary critic so I won't comment in any detail on what strikes me as very fine writing - some of Miller's best, perhaps. I will discuss instead what I believe to be his great moral achievement in Landscape: to have brought together in the one book dramatic, fictional, meditation on an aboriginal massacre of whites and aspects of the Holocaust, each illuminating the other, but without doing anything that could properly be called 'comparing' them, or 'weighing the gravity' of one against the other. To do that requires, of course, great moral tact, but also much more.' (Source:
[Review] Landscape of Farewell Graeme Moore , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , September vol. 87 no. 3 2007; (p. 37)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller , 2007 single work novel
Twilight Zones Don Anderson , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 6 November vol. 125 no. 6594 2007; (p. 62)

— Review of The Memory Room Christopher Koch , 2007 single work novel ; Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller , 2007 single work novel
Lessons from the Past Katharine England , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 3 November 2007; (p. 12)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller , 2007 single work novel
Shadows That Cross Our Souls Hilary McPhee , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , November vol. 2 no. 10 2007; (p. 5, 7)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller , 2007 single work novel
In the Company of Ghosts Lisa Gorton , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 10 November 2007; (p. 23)

— Review of Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller , 2007 single work novel
Journey into the Heart of a Massacre Corrie Perkin , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 16-17 February 2008; (p. 14-15)
WA Writer Has Eyes on Franklin for Third Time Rod Moran , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The West Australian , 18 April 2008; (p. 7)
Names West Australian authors shortlisted for 2008 Miles Franklin Literary Award.
Prize Writers Jane Sullivan , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 14 June 2008; (p. 28-29)
'Jane Sullivan assesses the field in Australia's most significant literary award.' (Editor's abstract)
Chinese Honour for Aussie Writer 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 17 - 18 January 2009; (p. 34)
More Than Just Mates Ronald A. Sharp , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , July vol. 4 no. 6 2009; (p. 18-20)

'Arthur Miller's novels exhibit a nuanced and subtle understanding of the forces, from the erotic to the platonic, that drive humans to connect with each other and in the process confront our shared mortality.' (Editor's abstract)

In this article, Ronald A. Sharp focuses 'on explaining and illuminating [Landscape of Farewell's] profound view of friendship and on celebrating the radiant artistic achievement of representing and embodying that vision in fiction.'

Last amended 13 Jul 2021 12:15:05
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    Western Europe, Europe,
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