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Articles on Australian literature

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It is important for young people to read literature that reflects their own life and also expands their experiences of the world. from shutterstock.com

5 Australian books that can help young people understand their place in the world

Reading texts by and about diverse Australians will change the ways all young people see themselves and their communities. Here are five such books.
Open access publishing enables free and easy dissemination of work, but this does not meant that it engages with literary culture. Titles are isolated from bookshops, reviews, and cultural conversations. Photo by Fred Kearney on Unsplash

The open access shift at UWA Publishing is an experiment doomed to fail

The notion that a respected publishing house can be replaced by open access publishing is disproved by examining other recent examples, such as the now-closed University of Adelaide Press.
Anna McGahan as Charmian Clift in Sue Smith’s play Hydra. Long overshadowed by her husband George Johnston, recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in Clift’s life and work. Jeff Busby/Queensland Theatre

‘A woman ahead of her time’: remembering the Australian writer Charmian Clift, 50 years on

Fifty years after her death, Australian writer Charmian Clift is experiencing a renaissance. With her forward-thinking columns, Clift's voice rose above the crowd during post-war Australia.
Walter Withers, ‘The Drover’, 1912, oil on canvas. A recent book reinterprets Henry Lawson’s The Drover’s Wife in 99 ways, offering new perspectives on the classic short story. Wikimedia Commons

Inside the story: 99 versions of the same tale in The Drover’s Wives

Ryan O'Neill's book reimagines a classic Australian short story. He retells The Drover's Wife 99 times in various forms, including a poem, an Amazon review, and even as a Cosmo quiz.
The ‘gothic’ genre was once thought to be inapplicable to Australia. But there is a strong gothic tradition in Australian literature and film, seen in examples like Picnic at Hanging Rock. IMDB

Australian Gothic: from Hanging Rock to Nick Cave and Kylie, this genre explores our dark side

Gothic texts are not all bloodsucking vampires and howling werewolves. An Australian Gothic tradition took root alongside colonisation, influencing writers from Marcus Clarke to Alexis Wright.
Zahra Newman in Wake in Fright. A new adaptation of Kenneth Cook’s novel retells the story of a man’s descent into violent masculinity with a female voice, accompanied by visual and aural spectacle. Pia Johnson

A radical new adaptation eviscerates the dominance of male voices in Wake in Fright

In a new adaptation of the classic Australian novel, the story of masculinity and despair in the outback is told through a female voice.
In the novel Coach Fitz, the narrator is seemingly unaware of his humorous voice. This device is one way that the novel subverts expectations. Shutterstock

Inside the story: Coach Fitz and the accidentally comic voice

At the centre of the novel Coach Fitz is Tom, an anti-hero whose unintentionally humorous voice drives the narrative. Tom is an awkward everyman, a naïve Don Quixote, a digressive Tristam Shandy.
View from a highway rest stop east of Ravensthorpe, Western Australia. In Kim Scott’s Taboo, the landscape becomes a narrator. Chris Fithall/flickr

Inside the story: the all-knowing narrator in Kim Scott’s Taboo

The omniscient narrator is alive and well in fiction. Kim Scott's most recent novel uses a collective narrative voice that encompasses the landscape as well as the human.

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