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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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Popular Fiction

Popular Fiction

(p.313) 20 Popular Fiction
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Roslyn Weaver

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the history of popular fiction in Australia. The question of place has always been central to Australian fiction, not only as a thematic element but also as a critical or political preoccupation. In part, this is because popular fiction writers, wanting to attract broad audiences, either exploited their Australian content to appeal to international readers or have excised the local to produce a generic and thus more readily accessible setting for outsiders. The chapter considers works by popular fiction writers who adopt a range of positions in relation to their focus on place, but often tackle many different aspects of Australian social and historical change. These novels cover various genres such as crime fiction, historical fiction and romance, science fiction and fantasy, and include Fergus Hume's The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (1886), Nevil Shute's On the Beach (1957), Damien Broderick's The Dreaming Dragons (1980), and Cecilia Dart-Thornton's The Ill-Made Mute (2001).

Keywords:   popular fiction, place, Australian fiction, crime, romance, science fiction, fantasy, Fergus Hume, Nevil Shute, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Damien Broderick

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