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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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Major Authors: Christina Stead, Patrick White, David Malouf

Major Authors: Christina Stead, Patrick White, David Malouf

(p.253) 16 Major Authors: Christina Stead, Patrick White, David Malouf
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Margaret Harris

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the work of three Australian novelists who are read in the context of modernism, introducing a new dimension for the exploration of individual and national identity. David Malouf defines his Old and New World cultural heritage in a significant body of non-fiction prose, encompassing memoir and cultural commentary, along with reviews and interviews, that runs in tandem with his fiction. His intense literary self-consciousness is manifest in an extended mythology of place and history that emerges in his writing, such as Johnno (1975) and Remembering Babylon (1993). Patrick White's spiritual evocation of Australian landscape is evident from his first novel Happy Valley (1934) through The Tree of Man (1956) and Voss (1957), while issues of the construction of gender and identity are explicit in his memoir Flaws in the Glass: A Self-Portrait (1981) and the posthumously published The Hanging Garden (2012). Christina Stead's later international career, initiated by the republication in 1965 of The Man Who Loved Children (1940) followed by For Love Alone (1944), reveals her radical modernist techniques, her radical politics, and her focus on gender issues, particularly her concern with women artists, ending with the posthumous publication of I'm Dying Laughing: the Humourist (1986).

Keywords:   mythology, Australian novel, Christina Stead, Patrick White, David Malouf, non-fiction prose, place, gender, identity, Johnno

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