Ashley Barnwell, Joseph Cummins
December 11, 2018 Forthcoming
Reference - 132 Pages
ISBN 9781138088955 - CAT# Y334293
Series: Memory Studies: Global Constellations
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This book examines how Australian fiction writers draw on family histories to reckon with the nation’s colonial past. Located at the intersection of literature, history, and sociology, it explores the relationships between family storytelling, memory, and postcolonial identity. Discussing some of Australia’s most popular and critically acclaimed authors – including Kate Grenville, Richard Flanagan, Sally Morgan, Andrew McGahan, Kim Scott, Brian Castro, and Christos Tsiolkas – the book offers a powerful new reflection on the social role of literature in national identity and opens cross-cultural dialogue on experiences of belonging in post-settlement Australia. With attention to the political potential of family histories, Reckoning with the Past argues that authors’ often autobiographical works enable us to uncover, confront, and revise national mythologies.
An important contribution to the emerging global conversation about multidirectional memory and the need to attend to the effects of colonisation, this book will appeal to an interdisciplinary field of scholarly readers.
1. Dredging Up Family Secrets – Kate Grenville’s The Secret River and Richard Flanagan’s Death of a River Guide
2. Confronting the ‘Double Fold of Silence’ – Kim Scott and Hazel Brown’s Kayang & Me and Sally Morgan’s My Place
3. Belonging Across Generations – Brian Castro’s Birds of Passage and Shanghai Nights, and Alex Miller’s The Ancestor Game
4. Returning to Homelands – Christos Tsiolkas’ Dead Europe and Christopher Koch’s The Many-Coloured Land: A Return to Ireland
5. Listening to the Ghosts of the Past – Andrew McGahan’s The White Earth