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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 12: The Novel in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the South Pacific Since 1950$
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Coral Ann Howells, Paul Sharrad, and Gerry Turcotte

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199679775.001.0001

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The Novel in Australia from the 1950s

The Novel in Australia from the 1950s

Chapter:
(p.81) 5 The Novel in Australia from the 1950s
Source:
The Oxford History of the Novel in English
Author(s):

Brigid Rooney

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199679775.003.0008

This chapter examines the history of the Australian novel from the 1950s, focusing on the socio-cultural context in which the Australian novel has become heterogeneous in size, outlook, and ethnic composition. It first considers developments in the 1950s–1970s, when Patrick White emerged as a powerful canonical agent in the modernization of Australian literary culture by challenging white Australian conservatism. It then turns to the period 1972–1988, which saw the emergence of novels that reflected progressive nationalism, multicultural diversity reflecting Australia’s changing demographic, the appearance of Indigenous writing, and the new perspectives brought by feminist and revisionist history. It also discusses publishing in the 1990s and beyond, when Australian fiction contested the deep silences brought by colonization and made a shift to transnationalism. The chapter concludes with an assessment of recipients of the Miles Franklin Literary Award and an analysis of the ways in which the novel in Australia has affirmed the interconnectedness of Australian literature with its region and the world.

Keywords:   transnationalism, Australian novel, Patrick White, literary culture, conservatism, progressive nationalism, multicultural diversity, Indigenous writing, Australian literature, Miles Franklin Literary Award

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