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Issue Details: First known date: 2012... 2012 Questions of Travel
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of Travel charts two very different lives. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events.

'Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories - from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia.

'Award-winning author Michelle de Kretser illuminates travel, work and modern dreams in this brilliant evocation of the way we live now. Wonderfully written, Questions of Travel is an extraordinary work of imagination - a transformative, very funny and intensely moving novel.' (From the publisher's website.)


  • Dedication: In memory of Leah Akie.
  • Epigraph: Under cosmopolitanism, if it comes, we shall receive no help from the earth. Trees and meadows and mountains will only be a spectacle.... E.M. Forster Howard's End.
  • Epigraph: But surely it would have been a pity not to have seen the trees along this road, really exaggerated in their beauty. Elizabeth Bishop 'Questions of Travel.'
  • Epigraph: Anywhere! Anywhere! Charles Baudelaire 'Anywhere Out of the World.'

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 , 2012 .
      person or book cover
      Image courtesy of Allen & Unwin.
      Extent: 517p.
      ISBN: 9781743311004

Other Formats

Works about this Work

Australia in Three Books Lucy Treloar , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Meanjin , Spring vol. 78 no. 3 2019; (p. 15-19)

— Review of Midnite : The Story of a Wild Colonial Boy Randolph Stow , 1967 single work children's fiction ; Oscar and Lucinda Peter Carey , 1988 single work novel ; Questions of Travel Michelle De Kretser , 2012 single work novel

'Our lives are made up of different arcs—love, family, politics, geography, time and dislocation among them. One of the arcs that has exercised me most is my wondering about post-colonising Australia and its myths and mythmaking propensities, also about my family’s.

'Although my childhood was spent mostly in Melbourne, it was punctuated by our frequent pilgrimages to the promised land (aka South Australia) and inflected by the awareness that Melbourne was exile to my South Australian mother—feelings I do not share. She often reminded us of our ‘free settler’ heritage, and of our roots in the colonial era, no more than a blink of time ago in the face of 50,000 or more years of Aboriginal occupation; my horror has only grown with the intervening years.

'We loved South Australia for our own reasons: for heat, our peerless great-grandmother, wild freedom and the beach. But an awareness of myth, of the stories we tell and the ways we frame present and past, was kindled. If there is an arc in this selection, it is that the postcolonial Australia that I first began to think about as a child—if only at the edges of my mind—is a myth. It always has been.' (Introduction)

From Cosmopolitanism to Planetary Conviviality : Suneeta Peres da Costa and Michelle de Kretser Alejandra Moreno Álvarez , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Coolabah , no. 22 2017; (p. 84-94)

'Veronica Brady, vigorous supporter of Aboriginal causes and deeply concerned with social-injustice issues, underlined that Anglo-Australians were to be excommunicated from the land until they would come to terms with it and its first peoples (in Jones 1997). Nearly twenty years after this statement was postulated, it is my purpose in this paper to look at the land from an Anglo-Australian and non-Indigenous Australian perspective in order to assess if Australian contemporary society has moved beyond what Brady considered a “super ego status” and reconciled to the presence not only of its Indigenous, but also its non-Indigenous others. To do so I will exemplify novels which are part of and influenced by the matrix of relations and social forces in which non-indigenous Australian writers are situated on, including Suneeta Peres da Costa’s Homework (1999) and Michelle de Kretser’s Questions of Travel (2013).'

Source: Abstract.

See Me Showing You Me Roanna Gonsalves , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , April 2017;
'The month of March marked the fifty-first anniversary of an official change in Australia’s view of itself. In an effort to ‘populate or perish’, the absolutely Right and unquestionably Honourable men who ran this country on 24 March, 1966 made a pragmatic, yet momentous, leap towards inclusion and cultural diversity. An illuminating discussion took place in the House of Representatives that led to the passing of the Migration ACT 1966, officially ending the White Australia policy.' (Introduction)
Australian Writing and the Contemporary : Are We There Yet? Annee Lawrence , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Cultural Studies Review , April vol. 22 no. 1 2016; (p. 243–268)
'Australia’s geographical location (within ‘Asia’)—seen as a negative into the twenty-first century when the nation defined itself as culturally and aspirationally linked to the major Euro-American metropolitan cultural centres (the ‘West’)—must now be reevaluated. After two hundred years of white settlement and of turning its back on the region in which it is located, some Australian writers are writing texts that illuminate an aspect of Australian literature that is in transition, becoming, by definition, in, of, and with the region as well as in, of, and with present time. Art historian Terry Smith’s theory of the three currents of contemporary art, particularly the third current, suggests a new paradigm, a potential break from modernism, and a different kind of entanglement and interconnection in a world that is witnessing shifts in world power, voluntary and involuntary mass movements of people, and real time global communication technologies. Adrian Snodgrass and David Coyne’s application of hermeneutical theory to the architectural design studio via the metaphor of excursion and return illuminates some imaginative intersections, understandings and energies in three texts by Australian authors—Michelle De Kretser, Chi Vu and Jennifer Mackenzie. In Smith’s terms too, the texts perform original leaps of the imagination in their diversity, freshness, and ability to surprise and invite questions about literature’s potential to stir up prior understandings and invite new ways of being in the present. In terms of Giorgio Agamben’s definition of the contemporary, the three texts bring the reader to a plurality and intercultural connectedness that we have yet to fully recognise and live. They represent a line of flight towards a literary imaginary in Australian writing that is contemporary, locally grounded, but also regionally and globally entangled. ' (Publication abstract)
Tourists, Travellers, Refugees : An Interview with Michelle De Kretser Alexandra Watkins (interviewer), 2016 single work interview
— Appears in: Journal of Postcolonial Writing , December vol. 52 no. 5 2016; (p. 572-580)
'Michelle De Kretser was born in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and moved to Australia in 1972. From 1989 to 1992 she was a founding editor of the Australian Women’s Book Review. She is the author of several novels, including The Rose Grower (1999), The Hamilton Case (2003 – winner of the Tasmania Pacific Prize, the Encore Award [UK] and the Commonwealth Writers Prize [Southeast Asia and Pacific]) and The Lost Dog (2007). Her most recent novel, Questions of Travel, won the 2013 Miles Franklin Award, the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal and the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for fiction. In this conversation, which took place by telephone call from Melbourne to Sydney in August 2015, De Kretser discusses Questions of Travel in relation to travel and tourism, the Sri Lankan diaspora, and postcolonial and neocolonial politics.' (Introduction)
[Review] Questions of Travel Andrea Hanke , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , August/September vol. 92 no. 1 2012; (p. 19)

— Review of Questions of Travel Michelle De Kretser , 2012 single work novel
Intrepid Fiction Melinda Harvey , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , October no. 345 2012; (p. 18-19)

— Review of Questions of Travel Michelle De Kretser , 2012 single work novel
[Review] Questions of Travel Owen Richardson , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Monthly , October no. 83 2012; (p. 87)

— Review of Questions of Travel Michelle De Kretser , 2012 single work novel
Races Up Close and Personal Alison Broinowski , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 27 October 2012; (p. 22-23)

— Review of Questions of Travel Michelle De Kretser , 2012 single work novel
Tour de Force with No Final Destination Rebecca Starford , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Age , 27 October 2012; (p. 29) The Sydney Morning Herald , 27-28 October 2012; (p. 32-33)

— Review of Questions of Travel Michelle De Kretser , 2012 single work novel
Connections in Isolation Susan Wyndham , 2012 single work biography
— Appears in: The Saturday Age , 6 October 2012; (p. 28-29) The Sydney Morning Herald , 6-7 October 2012; (p. 32-33) The Canberra Times , 6 October 2012; (p. 19-20)
Connection and Isolation Andrea Hanke (interviewer), 2012 single work interview
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , August/September vol. 92 no. 1 2012; (p. 24)
True Grit W. H. Chong , 2012 single work correspondence
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 346 2012; (p. 6)
Melinda Harvey Replies: Melinda Harvey , 2012 single work correspondence
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 346 2012; (p. 6)
Fifty Shades of Great Susan Wyndham , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28-29 December 2012; (p. 3)
So many books, so little time - literary editor Susan Wyndham rounds up the years best.
Last amended 21 Aug 2019 12:18:37
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