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The Cambridge Companion to Australian Literature

This book introduces in a lively and succinct way the major writers, literary movements, styles and genres that, at the beginning of a new century, are seen as constituting the field of 'Australian literature'. The book consciously takes a perspective that sees literary works not as aesthetic objects created in isolation by unique individuals, but as cultural products influenced and constrained by the social, political and economic circumstances of their times, as well as by geographical and environmental factors. It covers indigenous texts, colonial writing and reading, poetry, fiction and theatre throughout two centuries, biography and autobiography, and literary criticism in Australia. Other features of the companion are a chronology listing significant historical and literary events, and suggestions for further reading.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Elizabeth Webby; Chronology; 1. Indigenous texts and narratives Penny van Toorn; 2. Colonial writers and readers Elizabeth Webby; 3. Poetry from the 1890s to 1970 Michael Ackland; 4. Fiction from 1900 to 1970 Kerryn Goldsworthy; 5. Theatre from 1788 to the 1960s Richard Fotheringham; 6. Contemporary poetry: across party lines David McCooey; 7. New narrations: contemporary fiction Delys Bird; 8. New stages: contemporary theatre May-Brit Akerholt; 9. From biography to autobiography Gillian Whitlock; 10. Critics, writers, intellectuals: Australian literature and its criticism David Carter; Further reading; Index.


'... the revolutionary ways in which Australian literary critics and writers have responded to the 'arrival' of feminism, postmodernism, postcolonialism and queer theory have created an exciting, complex and confident field of criticism - one that is given vibrant expression in The Cambridge Companion to Australian Literature.' Mary Ellen, Times Literary Supplement

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