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Issue Details: First known date: 1990... 1990 Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature
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  • Dedication: To all the Aboriginal writers who made this book possible. To all my old students at Murdoch University and the University of Queensland who debated many of the points raised. I hope they learnt as much as I did. To Patrick White for his support in 1988.
  • Epigraph: Ellen sat picking at her fringe of leaves. The corroboree was over, except the embers, the ashes, and the continued exchange of hoarsened voices. Patrick White, A Fringe of Leaves

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Hyland House , 1990 .
      Extent: viii, 207p.p.
      Written as: Mudrooroo Narogin
      • Includes bibliography and index.
      ISBN: 0947062556
Alternative title: The Indigenous Literature of Australia : Milli Milli Wangka
    • South Melbourne, South Melbourne - Port Melbourne area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria,: Hyland House , 1997 .
      Extent: 233p.
      Edition info: Revised edition
      • Includes bibliography and index.
      ISBN: 1864470143 (pbk)

Works about this Work

Untitled Maggie Nolan , single work review
— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo , 1990 single work criticism
The Study of Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Literature in China Ying Qiong , 2015 single work
— Appears in: Oceanic Literary Studies , no. 2 2015; (p. 236-247)
'Australian Aboriginal literature, a unique genre in Australian Literature, has greatly contributed to its diversity and colorfulness. Its status has improved because of the awaking of Aboriginal people and constant emerging of Aboriginal writers. This paper emphatically probes into three stages, reviews the Australian Aboriginal literature studies in China and discusses some of the major characteristics. Remarkable achievements have been made in the past thirty years, but there still exist some problems, including inadequate sense of Aboriginality, lack of diachronic and holistic study of a writer's thoughts, inadequate research on the works of Aboriginal writers born after the 1960s.' (236-237)
The Absent-Presence of the Ghosts in Aboriginal Poetry Devaleena Das , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: IJAS , no. 5 2012; (p. 70-83)
Aboriginal Affair(s): Reflections on the Life of Mudrooroo Eva Rask Knudsen , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: LINQ , December no. 39 2012; (p. 105-115)

'The article reviews the controversial 'Mudrooroo Affair' with reference to unpublished work by Mudrooroo in which he comments on the public debate about his rights to define himself as Aboriginal and, by extension, have his work credited as Aboriginal. Such work makes it pertinent to review Mudrooroo's creative output since 1965 as literary experiments with life writing and to reconsider Mudrooroo's many literary 'performances' from this perspective. They are not only explorations of Aboriginal identity politics over,- the last five decades, but may also be seen as a far more personal investment in exploring Aboriginal identity through a progressively shifting but interrelated series of subjectivities that reflect the writer's own experience and inform his claim to Aboriginality.' (Publication summary)

Mudrooroo : ‘Waiting to be Surprised’ Adam Shoemaker , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 11 no. 2 2011;
Aboriginal Encounters Janette Turner Hospital , 1993 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 20 August no. 4716 1993; (p. 4-5)

— Review of The Kadaitcha Sung Sam Watson , 1990 single work novel ; The Kwinkan Mudrooroo , 1993 single work novel ; Paperbark : A Collection of Black Australian Writings 1990 anthology poetry drama short story criticism prose autobiography biography ; Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo , 1990 single work criticism
Songliners Peter Stewart , 1991 single work review
— Appears in: Webber's , March no. 3 1991; (p. 84-90)

— Review of Black Words, White Page : Aboriginal Literature 1929-1988 Adam Shoemaker , 1989 single work criticism ; The Blackside: People are Legends and Other Poems Kevin Gilbert , 1990 selected work poetry ; Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo , 1990 single work criticism
On the Threshold of a Renaissance - Recent Aboriginal Writing in Australia Emmanuel S. Nelson , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , Winter vol. 4 no. 2 1990; (p. 131-133)

— Review of Story About Feeling Bill Neidjie , 1989 selected work poetry ; Wanamurraganya : The Story of Jack McPhee Sally Morgan , 1989 single work biography ; My Place Sally Morgan , 1987 single work autobiography ; Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo , 1990 single work criticism
Contested Site Cassandra Pybus , 1997 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , October no. 195 1997; (p. 18-19)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo , 1990 single work criticism
Indigenous Literature in Its Proper Contexts Ralph Elliott , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 11 April 1998; (p. 22)

— Review of Writing from the Fringe : A Study of Modern Aboriginal Literature Mudrooroo , 1990 single work criticism
'Why, White Man, Why?' : White Australia as the Addressee of Apostrophe in Contemporary Aboriginal Writing Russell West-Pavlov , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Zeitschrift fur Anglistik und Amerikanistik , vol. 50 no. 2 2002; (p. 166-178)

— Appears in: Imaginary Antipodes : Essays on Contemporary Australian Literature and Culture 2011; (p. 23-36)
'Contemporary Australian indigenous literature is characterised by a remarkably prevalent use of apostrophic address directed at the white reader. This mode of direct address in black literary texts draws attention to the political dynamics moulding reader-writer relations in contemporary Australia. The article examines numerous examples of this direct mode of address in prose, poetry and drama, and argues that this direct mode of address is a central element in the message of black writers. The use of apostrophe implies the active 'positioning' of the white reader on the part of the indigenous speaker; only by virtue of this positioning is the reading process made possible. The direct mode of address in these texts thus demands that the reader take up a stance characterised by a readiness to listen attentively to black literary voices.' (Author's abstract)
Reciprocal Bonds : Re-Thinking Orality and Literacy in Critical Perspectives on Indigenous Australian Life-Writing Michèle Grossman , 2005 single work essay
— Appears in: Script and Print , vol. 29 no. 1-4 2005; (p. 115-129)
'Ein komplexes und wechselhaftes Spiel': Sprachliche Resignifikation in Kanak Sprak und Aboriginal English Steffi Hobuß , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Polyculturalism and Discourse 2007; (p. 31-65)
Magical Realism and Fakery : After Carpentier's 'Marvelous Real' and Mudrooroo's 'Maban Reality' Maria Takolander , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 24 no. 2 2010; (p. 165-171)
Discusses 'the link between magical realism and fakery in the light of the antipodean nationalist appropriations of magical realism by the Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier in 1949 and by the black Australian writer Mudrooroo in the 1990s.' (p. 165)
Where Campfires Used to Gleam : A Collage of Bipolar Dreaming in Davis’ Aboriginal Theatre Sibendu Chakraborty , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities , vol. 2 no. 2 2010; (p. 136-144)
'Jack Davis' preoccupation with an aboriginal sense of experience as symbolized through uncle Worru's characterization in The Dreamers, is thought to have been sparked off by a mysterious man named Jack Henry, whose nostalgia was embittered and angered by what he considered to be the end of the golden age. Davis' own experience at the Moore River Settlement and his angst at having been forced to overlook the Noongar culture and tradition are snowballed into a representation of wisdom bordered on the edge of eccentricity. Uncle Worru's strong evocation of a poetic, almost archaic, wish-fulfilling past is thus addressed in terms of his dream-time stories. This paper tries to locate the significance of the dream-time stories in consolidating the theme of protest. The question is: how far successful is uncle Worru in acting out the role of Davis' spokesman? Uncle Worru's scheme of looking back at his past endeavors and success needs to be weighed against the younger generation's instinctive habit of dreaming forward into the future. The sense of false securities embodied through uncle Worru's dreaming backward in time necessarily comes in clash with the later generation's habit of dreaming forward. The dilution of the theme of protest thus gets enmeshed in the whirlpool of cultural abnegation. Davis' "syncretic theatre" distils the elixir of dreams polarized on the chronological separation between past and present.' (Author's abstract).


1992 winner Stanner Award
1991 joint winner Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Historical and Critical Studies Award
Last amended 31 May 2017 17:37:44