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Book Cover
Author Barnwell, Ashley.

Title Reckoning with the Past : Family Historiographies in Postcolonial Australian Literature
Published Milton : Routledge, 2018
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (141 pages)
Series Memory Studies: Global Constellations Ser
Memory Studies: Global Constellations Ser
Contents Cover; Half Title; Series Page; Title Page; Copyright Page; Dedication; Table of Contents; Acknowledgments; Introduction: Reckoning with the past: family, memory, nation; 1983-2005: a revisionist spirit; Linking postcolonial memory and literary imaginings; The 'traits' of family history literature; The chapters; 1. Dredging up family secrets: Kate Grenville's The Secret River and Richard Flanagan's Death of a River Guide; 'Let me as a novelist come to it in a different way': fiction as historiography; Empathy as a mode of reckoning; Witness as a mode of reckoning
4. Returning to homelands: Christos Tsiolkas' Dead Europe and Christopher Koch's The Many-Coloured Land: A Return to IrelandImaginary homelands: Koch and Tsiolkas; Journey to the old country; Echoes between Ireland and Tasmania; Sites of memory, folk music, and the pub; A family secret is haunting Europe; Conclusion; 5. Listening to the ghosts of the past: Andrew McGahan's The White Earth; 'A son was all that mattered'- The politics of inheritance; Landscapes of family historiography; The water hole as ear: family hysteriography; Conclusion; Conclusion; References; Index
Family secrets and 'cryptographic' writingGhosts of family past; Conclusion; 2. Confronting the 'double fold of silence': Kim Scott and Hazel Brown's Kayang & Me and Sally Morgan's My Place; Nation writing family, family writing nation; Reconciling evidence; Bridging generations; Conclusion; 3. Belonging across generations: Brian Castro's Birds of Passage and Shanghai Nights and Alex Miller's The Ancestor Game; Movements, exiles, and wanderers; 'These sheets of writing'; The game of ancestors: ethics and historiography; Conclusion
Summary This is the first book to examine how Australian fiction writers draw on family histories to reckon with the nation's colonial past. Located at the intersection of literature, history, and sociology, it explores the relationships between family storytelling, memory, and postcolonial identity. With attention to the political potential of family histories, Reckoning with the Past argues that authors' often autobiographical works enable us to uncover, confront, and revise national mythologies. An important contribution to the emerging global conversation about multidirectional memory and the need to attend to the effects of colonisation, this book will appeal to an interdisciplinary field of scholarly readers
Notes Print version record
Subject Families -- Australia -- History
Andrew McGahan.
Ashley Barnwell.
Australian fiction.
Australian literature.
Brian Castro.
Christopher Koch.
Christos Tsiolkas.
Joseph Cummins.
Kate Grenville.
Kim Scott.
Richard Flanagan.
SOCIAL SCIENCE -- Sociology -- General.
colonial injustice.
colonial past.
family histories.
family historiographies.
literary studies.
multidirectional memory.
national identity.
national mythologies.
postcolonial identity.
social role.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
Author Cummins, Joseph.
ISBN 1315109530