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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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Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction

Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Pacific

(p.175) 11 Historical Fiction
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Lydia Wevers

Oxford University Press

Since the latter part of the twentieth century, there has been a noticeable turn towards fiction that draws on historical materials, people, and events to reframe the politics of both the past and the present. This turn was signalled by Linda Hutcheon in 1988 as part of postmodernism. In recent years, and particularly in the postcolonial settler literatures of Australia, Canada, New Zealand the intersections of history and fiction have become significantly political. The chapter considers novels in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Pacific that deploy a more traditional form of historicity, including those written by Patrick White; historical novels by Indigenous writers; the regionalism of Canadian literature by contrast with New Zealand or Australian historical fiction; and historical fiction that parodies or reframes famous novels of the past.

Keywords:   historical fiction, postmodernism, postcolonial settler literature, history, historicity, historical novel, Indigenous writers, regionalism, politics, Canadian literature

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