Australian Contexts and their Writers
Edited by CA. Cranston and Robert Zeller
In this, the first collection of ecocritical essays devoted to Australian contexts and their writers, Australian and US scholars explore the transliteration of land and sea through the works of Australian authors and through their own experiences. The littoral zone is the starting point in this fresh approach to reading literature organised around the natural environment—rainforest, desert, mountains, coast, islands, Antarctica. There’s the beach, where sexual and spiritual crises occur; the Western Australian wheatbelt; deserts, camel trekking, and the transformation of a salt flat into an inland island; New Age literature that ‘appropriates’ Aboriginal culture as the healing poultice for an ailing West; a re-examination of pastoralism; an inquiry into whether Judith Wright's work can “persuade us to rejoice” in the world; the Limestone Plains, home of the bush capital and the bogong moth; tropical North Queensland; national parks where “the mountains meet the sea”; temperate islands, with their history of sealing, Soldier Settlement, and sea country pastoral; and Antarctica, where a utopian vision gives way to an emphasis on its ‘timeless’ icescape as minimalist backdrop for human dramas. The author-terrain includes poets, playwrights, novelists, and non-fiction writers across the range of contexts constituting the littoral zone of ‘Australia’.