'The year 1788: the very beginning of European settlement. These were times of hardship, cruelty and danger. Above all, they were times of conflict between the Aborigines and the white settlers.
'Eleanor Dark brings alive those bitter years with moments of tenderness and conciliation amid the brutality and hostility. The cast of characters includes figures historical and fictional, black and white, convict and settler. All the while, beneath the veneer of British civilisation, lies the baffling presence of Australia, the 'timeless land'.
'The Storm of Time and No Barrier complete the Timeless Land trilogy. ' (Publication summary)
'In 1968 the esteemed Australian anthropologist Bill Stanner coined the term “the great Australian silence” to describe a “cult of forgetfulness” that had seen Aboriginal people virtually ignored in the writing of Australian history. The Australian Dictionary of Biography had published its first two volumes by then, and the indifference that Stanner observed was already apparent in its choice of biographical subjects.
'The architects of the dictionary had envisaged a great national co-operative venture with autonomous working parties in each state whose members would choose “significant and representative” subjects, a “cross-section of Australian society”. In succinct articles, these lives would collectively illustrate the Australian national story.'
'What is it about modernism, that multivalent category riven with internal contradictions, that makes literary criticism continue to value it as a category?...' (Introduction)