AustLit logo
M. Dolores Herrero M. Dolores Herrero i(A80727 works by) (a.k.a. Maria Dolores Granado Herrero; Dolores Herrero)
Gender: Female
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Works By

Preview all
1 Post-Apocalypse Literature in the Age of Unrelenting Borders and Refugee Crises: Merlinda Bobis and Australian Fiction M. Dolores Herrero , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies , vol. 19 no. 7 2017; (p. 948-961)

'This essay analyses Filipino–Australian writer Merlinda Bobis’s novel Locust Girl: A Lovesong (2015), winner of the Christina Stead Prize for fiction, in the context of the post-apocalyptic Golden Age we are living in and the much-celebrated dystopian Australian tradition. Bobis’s novel is a futuristic political fable that describes a girl’s magical and nightmarish journey through an indeterminate border in a context of environmental and human apocalypse. It foresees ecological disasters of unprecedented dimensions and warns that the damage done to the planet and the largest part of humanity may end up being irreversible. Moreover, it tackles other truths so far exclusively denounced by realist narratives, namely, the Australian government policy on refugees. Some trauma theories, together with Mbembe’s “necropolitics” and Agamben’s notion of “bare life”, will be used to analysee the ways in which Locust Girl denounces the lethal effects of globalized undeterred capitalism and unitary and exclusive forms of nationalism, which are mainly responsible for the enforcement of unfair border laws and the inhuman treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers in the so-called “civilized” world, and in particular in Australia as one important member of the Pacific region. On the other hand, this essay also relies on Rosi Braidotti’s notion of “the posthuman” to show that Locust Girl also testifies to the power of women’s agency and transnational relationships in order to offer some hope of rebirth through suffering and love.' (Abstract)

1 Merlinda Bobis’s Fish-Hair Woman : Showcasing Asian Australianness, Putting the Question of Justice in Its Place M. Dolores Herrero , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Postcolonial Writing , December vol. 52 no. 5 2016; (p. 610-621) Mediating Literary Borders : Asian Australian Writing 2018; (p. 84-95)
'Fish-Hair Woman took 17 years to write and was rejected by six publishers – the “gatekeepers” of the Australian publishing industry, according to Bobis. One of main problems when trying to locate the novel as Asian Australian is that it is set in a militarized village in the Philippines, and therefore Australia and the Australian story occupy only a marginal position. This article will study the novel’s attempt to dilute and reverse this centrality by immersing white Australian characters in foreign and dangerous Asian settings. Some theories put forward by trauma and memory studies will also be used to show how Fish-Hair Woman manages to dig up individual traumatic memories from their ruins so that the painful collective past can somehow be reconstructed and brought to the surface, the memory of the disappeared can finally be honoured, and resilience can pave the way for hope in a better future.' (Publication abstract)
1 Chandani Lokugé's If the Moon Smiled : Female Subjectivity and Trauma at the South Asian/Australian Cultural Crossroads M. Dolores Herrero , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Emerging South Asian Women Writers : Essays and Interviews (From Antiquity to Modernity) 2015; (p. 23-41)
1 Chris Womersley’s Bereft: Ghosts That Dwell on the Margins of Traumatic Memory M. Dolores Herrero , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Anglia : Zeitschrift Fur Englische Philologie , September vol. 133 no. 3 2015; (p. 511–527)
'This paper pays critical attention to the work of Chris Womersley, a contemporary Australian author who, despite winning several awards and being shortlisted for others, remains relatively unknown to the non-Australian reading public. The close reading of Womersley’s novel Bereft undertaken here explores the traumatic impact of horrific events on both the personal, familial level and the broader historical frame. Well-established trauma theories will be rehearsed for the benefit of readers less familiar with this zone of inquiry; these theories lend themselves fruitfully to an allegorical interpretation of Womersley’s novel. Contrary to what some critics claim, literature still has the power to articulate what has often been deemed ‘unutterable’, and, indeed, can contribute to exorcizing the individual and collective traumas of our ‘wounded’ or traumatized times – at the very least by embodying and implicitly arguing for individual and cultural ethical stances and processes of healing that encourage socio-political transformation.' (Publication abstract)
1 Crossing The Secret River : From Victim to Perpetrator, or the Silent/Dark Side of the Australian Settlement M. Dolores Herrero , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Atlantis : Journal of the Spanish Association for Anglo-American Studies , vol. 36 no. 1 2014; (p. 87-105)
'Kate Grenville’s The Secret River (2005) is a moving account of the disturbing colonial development of Australia. In historical terms, it dramatizes the transformation of the white settler’s dream into the worst of all possible nightmares, and brings to the fore the darker side of Australia’s past. This article will show how the novel defamiliarizes some of the most important myths of the Australian nation. It will also rely on the ideas put forward by some outstanding ethics and trauma theorists and postcolonial critics in order to analyse The Secret River as a further example of a recurrent phenomenon in contemporary Australian literature, namely, the attempt to spell out the trauma and anxieties of (un)belonging that haunt settler culture as a result of the belated and painful revelation of Aboriginal dispossession and genocide. This article will therefore show that Grenville’s novel testifies to the desperate attempt on the part of some non-Indigenous Australians to offer an apology to the Aborigines so that the much longed-for national Reconciliation may some day be possible.' (Publication abstract)
1 Merlinda Bobis’s The Solemn Lantern Maker: The Ethics of Traumatic Cross-Cultural Encounters M. Dolores Herrero , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Coolabah , no. 10 2013;
'Merlinda Bobis's second novel is an interesting combination of opposites: of the powerless and the powerful, the holy and the profane, the magical and the seedy, Third-World Asian poverty and white Western affluence. The Solemn Lantern Maker is a traumatized mute 10-year-old boy who lives with his crippled mother in the slums of Manila. One day, when trying to sell his colourful wares, he becomes involved in the life of a grieved American tourist who is caught up in a murder of a controversial journalist. In this post-9/11 climate, this event will soon be wrongly interpreted as a terrorist conspiracy. My paper will rely on some of the most relevant assumptions put forward by ethical criticism and trauma studies to show that Bobis's novel succeeds in illustrating how the powerful world of international politics can inadvertently impinge on the small world of an insignificant Third-World child, and how the love and care that this child offers to an unknown distressed westerner eventually manages to play the miracle of transforming the latter's life, thus making it clear that Bobis's allegory of traumatic cross-cultural encounters testifies to the power of the (un)common to render the invisible visible, and of the unselfish circulation of affect to effect unexpected changes in an apparently indifferent globalized world.' (Author's abstract)
1 The Phantom and Transgenerational Trauma in Elizabeth Jolley’s 'The Well' M. Dolores Herrero , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Engaging with Literature of Commitment : The Worldly Scholar (Volume 2) 2012; (p. 201-216)
'Elizabeth Jolley's The Well, one of the most celebrated examples of the Australian female Gothic, can also be studied as a trauma novel. Set in the vast and dry postcolonial Australian countryside, the novel deals with the intense, traumatic, and somehow bordering on the homo-erotic, relationship between elderly and embittered Hester Harper, heiress to a large agricultural estate, and young and unformed Katherine, a sixteen-year-old orphan whom Hester unofficially adopted one day...' (From author's introduction 201)
1 1 y separately published work icon The Splintered Glass : Facets of Trauma in the Post-Colony and Beyond M. Dolores Herrero (editor), Sonia Baelo-Allué (editor), Amsterdam New York (City) : Rodopi , 2011 Z1793529 2011 anthology criticism 'These essays discuss trauma studies as refracted through literature, focusing on the many ways in which the terms, cultural trauma and personal trauma intertwine in postcolonial fiction. In a catastrophic age such as the present, trauma itself may serve to provide linkage through cross-cultural understanding and new forms of community. Western colonization needs to be theorized in terms of the infliction of collective trauma, and the postcolonial process is itself a post-traumatic cultural formation and condition. Moreover, the West's claim on trauma studies (via the Holocaust) needs to be put in a perspective recuperating other, non-Western experiences. Geo-historical areas covered include Africa (genital alteration) and, more specifically, South Africa (apartheid), the Caribbean (racial and gendered violence in Trinidad; the trauma of Haiti), and Asia (total war in the Philippines; ethnic violence in India compared to 9/11). Special attention is devoted to Australia (Aboriginal and multicultural aspects of traumatic experience) and New Zealand (the Maori Battalion). Writers treated include J.M. Coetzee, Shani Mootoo, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Flanagan, Janette Turner Hospital, Andrew McGahan, Tim Winton, and Patricia Grace. Illuminating insights are provided by creative writers (Merlinda Bobis and Meena Alexander). Source: www.rodopi.nl (Sighted 25/07.2011).
1 The Australian Apology and Postcolonial Defamiliarization : Gail Jones's Sorry M. Dolores Herrero , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Postcolonial Writing , vol. 47 no. 3 2011; (p. 283 - 295)
Gail Jones's new novel Sorry (2007) seeks to allegorize the contemporary settler condition in Australia, especially as its sense of civic integrity is seen to have been compromised by the recent revelations about the Stolen Generations. Jones clearly wishes to displace the familiar narrative of settlement in favour of a more disquieting alternative. This article offers a decoding of Sorry's allegory of trauma, as well as a glance at its political implications for Australia post-apology - not losing sight of the latent ironies implicit in a frame of representation whereby the Aborigines emerge as the victims of history, and the settlers as those subjects who suffer traumatization (author's abstract).
1 Sensing and Sensibility : The Late Ripple of Colonisation? A Conversation between Author and Translator Merlinda Bobis , M. Dolores Herrero , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 32 no. 1-2 2010; (p. 225-241)
The Philippines was colonised by Spain for nearly four hundred years (1521-1898), then by America for forty years (1901-1945). As a writer primarily in English, Merlinda Bobis has always 'sensed' that her sensibility has greater affinity with literatures of Hispanic/Latin-American rather than of English/American origins. Is this literary affinity a late ripple of colonisation? On reading Bobis's short stories for the first time, Herrero sensed them as 'so familiar', evoking Spanish writers. This recognition may well reinforce that late ripple, now a liminal space for productive-subversive cultural production, where the creative arc is both disruptive and expansive. Bobis and Herrero explore this liminal space by collaboratively examining and translating (from English to Spanish) Bobis's short story 'Fish-Hair Woman', while referencing its writing as, in fact, the earlier process of 'translation' of a Philippine story of militarism into an English text. They argue that these processes not only employ decolonising strategies, but also extend beyond the postcolonial into a transnational enterprise. [from Kunapipi 32,1-2, Abstracts, pp. 245]
1 Merlinda Bobis's 'Banana Heart Summer' : Recipes to Work through Trauma and Appease the Human Heart's Everlasting Hunger M. Dolores Herrero , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 32 no. 1-2 2010; (p. 194-208)
Banana Heart Summer (2005) is a truly original novel. What at first seems to be a collection of exotic recipes turns out to be a touching, funny and elegiac story. The myth of the banana heart inspires twelve-year-old Nenita, who will try to find the perfect balance between love and anger, to appease her family's hunger and, which is even more important, to win her violent mother's love. As she cooks and eats, or dreams of cooking and eating, other love stories unravel in Remedios Street, the street she lives in, significantly placed between an active volcano and a Catholic church. In this paper I analyse the way in which the different symbols that the novel uses, food being one of the most important, contribute to giving it a most original and coherent structure, and also draw the reader's attention towards some of the most outstanding messages that the novel seems to put forward, namely, the need for love and dialogue between different individuals and cultures, and for a multicultural and rather more cohesive model to be advocated in contemporary societies. [from Kunapipi 32,1-2, Abstracts, pp. 242-243]
2 8 Fish-Hair Woman Merlinda Bobis , 1997 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Heat , no. 5 1997; (p. 78-88) White Turtle : A Collection of Short Stories 1999; (p. 10-23)

— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 32 no. 1-2 2010; (p. 209-224)
1 Merlinda Bobis's Poem-Plays : Reading Ethics and Identity Across Cultures M. Dolores Herrero , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Portal , January vol. 4 no. 1 2007;
Herrero analyses Bobis' poem-plays to draw attention to their questioning of patriarchal binary divisions and definitions of morality. The author sees in Bobis' work a 'feminist ethics of care' (1). From the journal webpage abstract: 'The aim of this paper will be to show her two poem-plays 'Promenade' and 'Cantata of the Warrior Woman,' not as isolated phenomena, but as part of a rich tradition of (diasporic) Filipino poets and activist playwrights. Moreover, this paper will study these works from the perspective of a postmodern post-foundational ethics' (see: http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/ojs/index.php/portal/article/view/153).
1 1 Due Preparations for the Plague: Globalisation, Terror and the Ethics of Alterity M. Dolores Herrero , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 28 no. 1 2006; (p. 25-43)
1 'Merlinda Bobis's Re-Evaluation of Ethics and Identity : 'Cantata of the Warrior Woman' M. Dolores Herrero , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies , Spring-Fall vol. 12 no. 1-2 2006;
1 Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang : Ethical Dimensions in the Re-evaluation of Australia's Mythic Hero M. Dolores Herrero , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Commonwealth , Spring vol. 27 no. 2 2005; (p. 71-85)
'Peter Carey's novel True History of the Kelly Gang negotiates the multiple and contradictory meanings that Ned Kelly's historical record brings about. The figure of Ned Kelly brings to the fore the ethical dimensions of revisiting and questioning one of the best-known myths of the nation' (71).
1 1 Snake Dreaming : The Life-Giving and Life-Taking Powers of the Snake M. Dolores Herrero , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 22 no. 1 2005; (p. 73-89)
Analyses the identity dilemmas in Sykes's polemical and controversial autobiographical trilogy.
1 Merlinda Bobis's Use of Magic Realism as Reflected in 'White Turtle': Moving Across Cultures, Redefining the Multicultural and Dialogic Self M. Dolores Herrero , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses , vol. 16 no. 2003; (p. 147-163)
1 David Malouf's An Imaginary Life : A Return to the Very Edge of Memory, History and the Multicultural Self M. Dolores Herrero , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Narrativa i Historia 2002; (p. 37-59)
Explores the relationship between history, autobiography and fiction in Malouf's novel.
X