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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 Short Story in Australia

The Short Story in Australia

(p.269) 17 The Short Story in Australia
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Elizabeth Webby

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the history of the short story in Australia. Australia's tradition of short fiction writing dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. In the days when Australian novels were mainly published in England, the short story was a source of income for many authors. By the 1950s, the type of realist story favoured by Henry Lawson — using a colloquial, usually male, voice and featuring working-class characters and bush settings — had been established as the Australian tradition. The chapter first considers short stories written in the 1950s and 1960s, which reflect versions of realism and modernism, before discussing works published in the 1970s and 1980s that deal with postmodernism and feminism. It also looks at short stories published since the 1990s, such as Gail Jones' The House of Breathing, Tony Birch's Father's Day (2009), and Cate Kennedy's Like a House on Fire (2012).

Keywords:   short story, Australia, realism, modernism, postmodernism, feminism, Gail Jones, Tony Birch, Cate Kennedy, short fiction

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