eCite Digital Repository

Book Clubs and Reconciliation: A Pilot Study on Book Clubs Reading the ‘Fictions of Reconciliation’


Clarke, RGH and Nolan, M, Book Clubs and Reconciliation: A Pilot Study on Book Clubs Reading the Fictions of Reconciliation', Australian Humanities Review, 56 pp. 121-140. ISSN 1835-8063 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Not available

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Australian Humanities Review

Official URL:


How can we use book clubs as sources of information on how works of fiction are received and function in the public sphere? We have been thinking about this question while developing a research program to examine the functions of contemporary Australian historical fiction, and specifically those texts that we term the ‘fictions of reconciliation’. We decided to use book clubs initially as a way of examining the kinds of interpretations we had seen emerging from within the literary academy. Many such interpretations presume a particular model of an ‘ordinary’ reader; one that we regard with scepticism. Talking with book clubs seemed to offer an opportunity to test this model of readership, particularly as it pertains to the fictions of reconciliation. Kate Grenville’s The Secret River (2005) was an obvious choice of text: from its publication it has proven to be popular and controversial, particularly amongst members of the academy. But did non-academic readers necessarily reach the same negative conclusions about the novel’s politics of race?

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Australian literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature)
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Literature
UTAS Author:Clarke, RGH (Dr Robert Clarke)
ID Code:92101
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2014-06-06
Last Modified:2018-03-13

Repository Staff Only: item control page