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Writing home: walking, literature and belonging in Australia’s red centre


Rolls, M, Writing home: walking, literature and belonging in Australia's red centre, Studies in Travel Writing pp. 1-3. ISSN 1364-5145 (2018) [Review Single Work]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/13645145.2017.1419592


Morrison’s Writing Home is an important and ambitious work that among other things systematically contests two current orthodoxies: one being that Central Australia is an exemplar of Australia’s enduring frontier; the other that settler Australians will always be alien to the land in which they dwell. In picking apart these shibboleths, some will no doubt proclaim Writing Home is controversial and inimical to Aboriginal aspirations and the realisation of restitution for dispossession. This would be to misread Morrison. Morrison also addresses a significant lacuna in Australian literary scholarship, that being the paucity of critical literature addressing writing of and about the Centre, despite the existence of a significant regional corpus. Given the influence of the Northern Territory in constructions of Australian identity, it is peculiar, as Morrison points out, that there is so little evaluation of the local literature informing these constructions (34). Nevertheless, his book is not a survey of this body of literature. Rather it selects key texts from different eras with which to illustrate his overarching argument. Texts selected are by those who have walked, no matter how briefly (Chatwin for example), the Central Australian places of which they write.

Item Details

Item Type:Review Single Work
Keywords:place, belonging, literary criticism, settler Australians, Aborigines
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Cultural studies
Research Field:Postcolonial studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:Rolls, M (Dr Mitchell Rolls)
ID Code:123878
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2018-01-31
Last Modified:2018-01-31

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