In this course we will read six contemporary novels to examine some of the significant themes and preoccupations we find in Australian literature. This will include, among other things the preoccupation with the landscape and the way in which this is often portrayed in a gothic manner; how isolation and estrangement of individuals and groups is portrayed; diasporic and aboriginal voices in the stories of Australia’s first people and migrant populations; and the preocupation with identity and belonging. For each novel we will look at the author and the context within which the novel was written thereby bringing an historical and cultural approach to our readings as well as a literary one. Most novels will be discussed over two weeks to allow time for a deep and close reading of the texts and time to discuss the novels fully.

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