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Contemporary Australian Writing (LIT302)
Semester 2 / 2011

Texts

y separately published work icon The Secret River Kate Grenville , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2005 Z1194031 2005 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 69 units)

'In 1806 William Thornhill, a man of quick temper and deep feelings, is transported from the slums of London to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. With his wife Sal and their children he arrives in a harsh land he cannot understand.

'But the colony can turn a convict into a free man. Eight years later Thornhill sails up the Hawkesbury to claim a hundred acres for himself.

'Aboriginal people already live on that river. And other recent arrivals - Thomas Blackwood, Smasher Sullivan and Mrs Herring - are finding their own ways to respond to them.

'Thornhill, a man neither better nor worse than most, soon has to make the most difficult choice of his life.

'Inspired by research into her own family history, Kate Grenville vividly creates the reality of settler life, its longings, dangers and dilemmas. The Secret River is a brilliantly written book, a groundbreaking story about identity, belonging and ownership.' (From the publisher's website.)

y separately published work icon The Best Australian Essays 2007 Drusilla Modjeska (editor), Melbourne : Black Inc. , 2007 Z1434576 2007 anthology essay (taught in 4 units)
y separately published work icon Sixty Lights Gail Jones , London : Harvill Press , 2004 Z1136231 2004 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 15 units)

'Sixty Lights is the captivating chronicle of Lucy Strange, an independent girl growing up in the Victorian world. From her childhood in Australia through to her adolescence in England and Bombay and finally to London, Lucy is fascinated by light and by the new photographic technology. Her perception of the world is passionate and moving, revealed in a series of frozen images captured in the camera of her mind's eye showing her feelings about love, life and loss. In this confident, finely woven and intricate novel Jones has created an unforgettable character in Lucy; visionary, gifted and exuberant, she touches the lives of all who know her.' (Publication summary)

y separately published work icon Love and Vertigo Hsu-Ming Teo , St Leonards : Allen and Unwin , 2000 Z514595 2000 single work novel (taught in 4 units)
y separately published work icon Dead Europe Christos Tsiolkas , Milsons Point : Vintage Australia , 2005 Z1186455 2005 single work novel (taught in 14 units) 'The novel comprises two separate narratives. The first, told in the style of a fairytale, is set in a traditional Greek peasant village during and after World War II. Its world is still magical. ... The second narrative is set in the present time. The narrator is a 36-year-old gay, Greek-Australian photographic artist named Isaac. We meet Isaac at a time when he has travelled to Greece for what turns out to be a rather dismal officially funded exhibition of his works.'

Source: Manne, Robert. 'Dead Disturbing'. The Monthly. (June, 2005)
y separately published work icon The Best Australian Poetry 2008 David Brooks (editor), St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2008 Z1537239 2008 anthology poetry (taught in 3 units)

'His selection of 40 poems from Australia's print and online journals captures a sense of poetry as passion, as lived experience, and momentary distillations into action.' (Source: Publisher's website)

y separately published work icon True History of the Kelly Gang Peter Carey , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2000 Z668312 2000 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 29 units)

'"I lost my own father at 12 yr. of age and know what it is to be raised on lies and silences my dear daughter you are presently too young to understand a word I write but this history is for you and will contain no single lie may I burn in Hell if I speak false."

'In TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semi-literate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.' (From the publisher's website.)

y separately published work icon Carpentaria Alexis Wright , Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2006 Z1184902 2006 single work novel (taught in 47 units) Carpentaria's portrait of life in the precariously settled coastal town of Desperance centres on the powerful Phantom family, whose members are the leaders of the Pricklebush people, and their battles with old Joseph Midnight's tearaway Eastend mob on the one hand, and the white officials of Uptown and the neighbouring Gurfurrit mine on the other. Wright's storytelling is operatic and surreal: a blend of myth and scripture, politics and farce. The novel is populated by extraordinary characters - Elias Smith the outcast saviour, the religious zealot Mozzie Fishman, leader of the holy Aboriginal pilgrimage, the murderous mayor Stan Bruiser, the ever-vigilant Captain Nicoli Finn, the activist and prodigal son Will Phantom, and above all, Angel Day the queen of the rubbish-dump, and her sea-faring husband Normal Phantom, the fish-embalming king of time - figures that stand like giants in this storm-swept world. (Backcover)
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

Description

Available both on campus and by Distance Education, this subject aims to provide students with an opportunity to study some of the most recent Australian writing. It is intended that this subject will complement the Australian Literature subject. Because of the necessity for drastic selection only poetry and prose will be covered.

Assessment

1. Anthology of poems Assignment 30%;

2. Essay on prose Assignment 30%

3. Final Exam Exam 30%

4. Tutorial participation Assignment 10%

Other Details

Enrolment Restriction: Not available to students who have previously completed LIT202

Offered in: 2010, 2009
Current Campus: Riverina
Levels: Undergraduate
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