This book focuses on the issues of space, culture and identity in recent Australian fiction. It discusses the work of 15 authors to show that, in Australia, the meaning of “country” remains critical and cultural belonging is still a difficult process. Interrogating the definition of Australia as a “post-colonial nation” and its underlying extension from Britain, it applies Nicolas Bourriaud’s concept of the Radicant to examine Australian writing beyond the “post” of “post-colonialism”. The book shows that some authors are engaged in writing about the country and the time in which they live, but that they also share common critical views on the definition of multiculturalism, the belonging to place, and integration in the nation. The volume suggests that theories of cultural hybridism presented as a decolonising methodology in fact dissolve singularity in the same way that globalisation creates standardisation. It argues that 21st century Australian fiction depicts the subject as a radicant and that Australian culture constitutes a mobile entity unconnected to any soil.
Richard Flanagan: Critical Essays is the first book to be published about the life and work of this major world author. Written by twelve leading critics from Australia, Europe and North America, these richly varied essays offer new ways of understanding Flanagan’s contribution to Tasmanian, Australian and world literature. Flanagan’s fictional worlds offer empathetic, often poignant, renderings of those whose voices have been lost beneath official accounts of history, stories from a small region that have made their mark on a global scale. Considering his seven novels as well as his non-fiction, journalism and correspondence, this collection examines the historical and geographical factors that have shaped Flanagan’s representation of Tasmanian identity. This collection offers new insights into a determinedly regional writer, and the impact he has had on a local, national and global scale.