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y separately published work icon The Ghost's Child Sonya Hartnett , Camberwell : Penguin , 2007 Z1402459 2007 single work novel young adult fantasy (taught in 6 units)

'Maddy yearns for her life to be mystifying, to be as magical as a fairy story. And then one day, on the beach, she meets the strangest young man she has ever seen.

'The Ghost's Child is an enchanting fable about the worth of life, and the power of love.' (Publisher's blurb)

y separately published work icon El Dorado Dorothy Porter , Sydney : Pan Macmillan Australia , 2007 Z1362160 2007 single work novel crime detective thriller (taught in 10 units)

'There is a serial killer stalking the streets of Melbourne. The victims are killed gently, lovingly, a gold mark traced on their forehead. This killer doesn't hate children. This killer believes in childhood innocence at any cost...El Dorado is the story of a friendship under siege, and the very long shadows that jealousy and betrayal can cast.' - back cover

y separately published work icon Dodging the Bull : Stories Paul Mitchell , Kent Town : Wakefield Press , 2007 Z1402590 2007 selected work short story (taught in 1 units)
y separately published work icon Jack Judy Johnson , Acton : Pandanus Books , 2006 Z1340195 2006 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 2 units) 'This fast-paced verse novel is set on a pearling lugger in the Torres strait in the 1930s. Using historical evidence from the documentary record and the participants themselves, Japanese, Islander, Aboriginal and European, Johnson offers insights into life at sea as part of one of the most dangerous occupations, where divers routinely died or were crippled by the bends.' - Back cover
y separately published work icon The Zookeeper's War Steven Conte , Pymble : Fourth Estate , 2007 Z1397155 2007 single work novel (taught in 1 units)

'It is 1943 and each night in a bomb shelter beneath the Berlin Zoo an Australian woman, Vera, shelters with her German husband, Axel, the zoo's director.

'Together, Vera and Axel struggle to look after the animals through the air raids and food shortages of war. When the zoo's staff are drafted into the army, conscripted foreign workers are sent to replace them. At first Vera finds the idea of forced labour abhorrent, but gradually she realises the new workers are the zoo's only hope. Then she finds herself becoming close to one of them - a young Czech, with whom she forms an unexpected bond.

'This is a city where a foreign accent - Czech or Australian - is a constant source of suspicion, where busybodies report the names of neighbours' dinner guests to the Gestapo. As tensions mount in the closing days of the war, nothing, and no one, it seems, can be trusted.' (Back cover)

y separately published work icon The Best Australian Essays 2008 David Marr , Melbourne : Black Inc. , 2008 Z1535126 2008 anthology essay (taught in 1 units)
y separately published work icon A History of the Beanbag : And Other Stories Susan Midalia , Crawley : UWA Publishing , 2007 Z1423457 2007 selected work short story (taught in 1 units) 'With photographic precision, author Susan Midalia captures the fleeting beauty, light and darkness to be found in the ephemera of everyday life. From the silences between people and the ordinariness of places, objects and events, she conjures narrative jewels of intelligence and grace. A History of the Beanbag is a short story collection with a difference - a scenic tour of the surprises secrets and fears beneath the cracked veneer of domesticity and suburban complacency.' (Publisher's blurb)
y separately published work icon Love Like Water Meme McDonald , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2007 Z1358425 2007 single work novel young adult (taught in 2 units)

'Cathy arrives in Alice Springs from cattle country, looking for a new way to live. But new is a serious challenge for a girl who's used to being measured by her actions, not her feelings. Feelings are slippery, like water. Hard to hold onto.

Jay is working for the local radio station, far from his own saltwater people, wary of this no-water country. He's searching for something, trying to survive.

Margie is a wild city girl, up for a good time, confronted by a world she's never known and a friend she can't always understand.

When lives collide at the heart of the country, no one stays unchanged.' - back cover

'More than a love story, this is a bold, confronting book about friendship, love, sex and identity at the heart of Australia, where black and white, bush and city collide.' (Publisher's blurb)

y separately published work icon Love Without Hope Rodney Hall , Sydney : Picador , 2007 Z1347643 2007 single work novel (taught in 1 units) 'The elderly Mrs Shoddy suffers acute depression as a result of a bushfire that kills her beloved horses. A capable countrywoman, she loses her grip and is living in squalor when the district nurse finds her and has her committed to an insane asylum. The time is 1982; the place, a country town in NSW. The NSW Department of Lunacy is still in operation, headed by an official with the title The Master in Lunacy. In this powerful novel, finding herself pitted against the power of the state, Mrs Shoddy calls on her memories of her missing husband, on the spirit of her horses and on the recovery of her self-respect and resilience to create a world in which she can remain sane, even against the institutional brutality she is subjected to. And the characters in her mind become as palpable as the real people she is surrounded by.' (Publisher's blurb)
y separately published work icon Diary of a Bad Year J. M. Coetzee , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2007 Z1421986 2007 single work novel (taught in 10 units) 'J. M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year is about loneliness, friendship and the possibility of love. It takes the reader from Australian democracy to Guantanamo Bay, from the meaning of dishonour to the creative truth of dreams.' (Publisher's blurb)


This subject involves a study of recent Australian literary works selected from a range of genres. The approach will include discussion of ways of reading, and also creative responses to the selected texts. Students will read one significant work in preparation for each weekly class.

Objectives:Students who succesfully complete this subject will have acquired increased awareness of the contemporary Australian context for their own creative writing;

have experience of relating their own creative writing to recently published Australian creative writing;

have acquired experience and skills in discussing and workshopping creative writing in a group setting.


Written work equivalent to 4000 words, comprising a 1500 word developed review/critique of at least two set texts (30%) due during the semester, a 2500 word or equivalent creative work in response to set texts (60%) due at the end of the semester, and a class paper presentation (10%) done during the semester. Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit the final assessment within 2-weeks after the final due date without having received a formal extension and special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.

Other Details

Levels: Undergraduate