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The article for the first time discusses Hewett's early unpublished poetry which still exists only in manuscript and typescript in the National Library of Australia. Included are numerous text examples of Hewett's early poems.
The author's account of Fly Away Peter is intended 'to raise the question of the relation between Malouf's closely intertwined narratives of the Great War and the formation of Australian identity and, on the other hand, Aboriginal narratives of dispossession and self-affirmation.' This leads to a consideration of the novel's treatment of the Anzac myth and its role as a settler narrative; and to a discussion of the 'Ngurrara Canvas', painted by 'Great Sandy Desert traditional owners prior to the National Native Title tribunal hearings in 1997'. 'Rather than pitting one narrative of loss and recovery against another, I hope to suggest some of the heterogenous, perhaps incommensurate elements in relation to which any twenty-first-century narrative of Australian identity must locate itself' (38-39).
The article discusses the polarised response to Wright's work. The author argues that it is Wright's 'blend of realism and the visionary that marks the ambiguity and the promise of her creative work' (60).
The article examines the contradictory responses to the national capital in the Australian imagination: planned along utopian lines, Canberra has been seen as a failed utopia, a city 'widely unloved and often derided as the most un-Australian of Australian cities' (78). In seeking to understand this tension, the article examines the literary representation of the capital in some fictional narratives in which 'Canberra is literally or symbolically destroyed', above all in works by McGahan and Halligan.
The essay 'explores the ways in which Jolley's fictions are simultaneously motivated by a longing for consummate love - (hetero)sexual, intellectual, spiritual, all at once - and shaped by a gathering understanding of the impossibility of that desire as a way of being in the world' (98-99).
The essay about Jolley's women 'looks at the ways in which Jolley represents women's longing for other women; it argues that this longing is central to her representation of female characters and the feminine condition. Jolley's literary style, her writing method, makes this question of longing and desire both complex and ambiguous' (112).
The article looks at the last four novels by Jolley which were 'somewhat neglected by scholars'. Taken as a body of 'late work' with some evidence of 'late style' (Edward Said), 'might give them a more acknowledged place in a critical history of Jolley's writing' (122).