Australian literature is one of the world's richest, dealing not only with "local" Australian themes and issues but with those at the forefront of global literary discussion. This book offers a fresh look at Australian literature, taking a broad view of what literature is and viewing it with Australian cultural and societal concerns in mind. Especially relevant is the heightened role of indigenous people and issues following the landmark 1992 Mabo decision on Aboriginal land rights. But attention to other multicultural connections and the competing pull of Australia's continued connection to Great Britain are also enlightening. Chapters are devoted to internationally prominent writers such as Patrick White, Peter Carey, David Malouf, and Christina Stead; fast-rising authors such as Gerald Murnane and Tim Winton; less-publicized writers such as Xavier Herbert and Dorothy Hewett; and on prose fiction, poetry, and drama, women's and gay and lesbian writing, children's literature, and science fiction. The Companion goes beyond Eurocentric ideas of national literary history to reveal the full, resplendent variety of Australian writing.
Contributors: Nicholas Birns, Rebecca McNeer, Ali Gumillya Baker, Gus Worby, Anita Heiss, Ruth Feingold, Wenche Ommundsen, Susan Jacobowitz, Deborah Madsen, Marguerite Nolan, Tanya Dalziell, Richard Carr, David McCooey, Maryrose Casey, Brigid Rooney, John Beston, John Scheckter, Werner Senn, Carolyn Bliss, Paul Genono, Lyn Jacobs, Nicole Moore, Ouyang Yu, Jaroslav Kusnir, Brigid Magner, Russel Blackford, Toni Johnson-Woods, Theodore F. Sheckels, Alice Mills, Gary Clark, Damien Barlow, Leigh Dale
Nicholas Birns teaches literature at the New School in New York City and is the editor of Antipodes. Rebecca McNeer is Associate Dean Emerita at Ohio University Southern.
Winner, CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award, 2008
How to do justice to this gem? Any brief treatment of this comprehensive, richly varied companion threatens to lapse into a shopping list of its astonishing range of subjects. ... Essential. CHOICE
[...] The felt need for literary history as a complex kind of social history and thermometer of present times remains strong. [...] Newest of the histories is the estimable A Companion to Australian Literature Since 1900.... [which] will be used in libraries with profit and enjoyment....AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW
BR> This is a fine book, beautifully edited, readable and full of interest. Scholarly and lively, this Companion should be widely used. JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF AUSTRALIAN LITERATURE
[An] outstanding, reader-friendly volume.... [Follows a] tradition of instilling in international readers the love of Australian literature and the determination to keep up to date with the latest trends in literary criticism. OVERLAND
Birns and McNeer have done an excellent job in compiling a volume that combines the necessary survey work with politically and theoretically informed readings of key texts and movements. AUSTRALIAN LIBRARY STUDIES
[L]ikely to prove very useful for undergraduate students and perhaps even general readers. YEAR'S WORK IN ENGLISH STUDIES
Part 1: Identities -- Part 2: Writing across time -- Part 3: International reputations -- Part 4: Writers and regions -- Part 5: Beyond the canon.