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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 Indigenous Australian Novel

The Indigenous Australian Novel

(p.284) 18 The Indigenous Australian Novel
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Peter Minter

Belinda Wheeler

Oxford University Press

The history of the Indigenous Australian novel begins in the second half of the twentieth century and can be traced to the traditions of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia. The Indigenous novel combines elements of the oral and performance traditions of classical Indigenous cultures with one of Western modernity's central narrative forms. The traditions of storytelling and poetic narration that underpin the Indigenous novel have always occupied a central place in the cultural expression of Indigenous peoples. The chapter considers Indigenous Australian novels published in four different periods: before and during the mid-1970s, 1978–1987, 1988–2000, and 2000 to the present. These include David Unaipon's (Ngarrindjeri) My Life Story (1954), Shirley Perry Smith's (Wiradjuri) Mum Shirl: An Autobiography (1981), Ruby Langford Ginibi's Don't Take Your Love to Town (1988), Kim Scott's Benang (2000), and Alexis Wright's Carpentaria (2006).

Keywords:   storytelling, Indigenous Australian novel, Indigenous novel, David Unaipon, Shirley Perry Smith, Ruby Langford Ginibi, Alexis Wright, Australian novel, Indigenous peoples

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