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Edited by Richard A. Young

The first essays in this volume locate Latin America within the postmodernism debate by addressing both its position in the theory of the postmodern and the peripheral existence of the continent in light of the globalizing practices of the contemporary world. The next essays focus on the Caribbean and elements of the formation of identity and culture in a group of societies belonging to the same geographic region but confronted with the idiosyncrasies of their colonial histories, the problematics of race and language, and their relation to the politics and cultures of metropolitan powers. There are three essays concerned with re-readings of the first encounters between Europe and America and discussions of more recent fictional representations of the past which attempt to recover the lost Amerindian Other of the Conquest and Colonization and to reveal the constructedness of History. Finally, preceded by two texts on ways of reading and writing in Latin America, the final four essays are concerned with challenges to the discourses of power by Latin American women who re-define the subject and counter the established hegemonies of religion, culture, and social structure both in their writing and political actions. As a collection of essays, this volume will appeal to readers who are interested in Post-modernism as a global phenomenon and in understanding the different forms it takes and the issues it addresses in different cultural environments.

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Stephen Gray

This collection is concerned with the problems and pleasures of writing literary biography in the context of South African writing. Stephen Gray's introduction outlines the choice faced by the researcher: between writing revisionist history (à la Strachey) and the personal bias the portraitist must take into account when conducting the retrieval especially of lost and enigmatic figures (à la Symons). Concentrating on the unattached irregulars of the arts in South Africa - often the arts of their times - Gray stresses the value of the free-lance figure in the formation of an evolving colonial and post-colonial literature.
Subjects included are: Charles Maclean, alias John Ross, who recorded his experiences of the Zulu King Shaka in Natal's first captivity narrative; Douglas Blackburn, rated as the successor of Swift for his satires of the Anglo-Boer War conflict; Beatrice Hastings, polymath journalist whose lovers included Katherine Mansfield and Amedeo Modigliani; Stephen Black, founder of indigenous South African drama in English; Edward Wolfe, the Bloomsbury painter who began as a child-actor in the mining town of Johannesburg; Bessie Head, who became the Botswana-based wise-woman of African literature before her untimely death in 1986, yet never knew her own origins; Etienne Leroux, the Free State rancher who, in Afrikaans, wrote much-banned postmodernist novels; Mary Renault whose bestselling novels set in Ancient Greece peculiarly represented the shutdown of democracy in apartheid South Africa; Sipho Sepamla, stalwart of the Soweto Poetry school which came to prominence after the 1976 Soweto uprising; and Richard Rive, novelist, cultural commentator and liberation icon, murdered in his prime. The portrait gallery of the figures who have shaped and defined the role of literature in South Africa is both revealing and provocative, showing the route taken by some lesser-known talents in their struggle to establish the rights of authors in an often indifferent or repressive state.

Australian Fiction as Archival Salvage

Making and Unmaking the Postcolonial Novel

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Frances A. Johnson

Australian Fiction as Archival Salvage examines key developments in the field of the Australian postcolonial historical novel from 1989 to the present. In parallel with this analysis, A. Frances Johnson undertakes a unique study of in-kind creativity, reflecting on how her own nascent historical fiction has been critically and imaginatively shaped and inspired by seminal experiments in the genre – by writers as diverse as Kate Grenville, Mudrooroo, Kim Scott, Peter Carey, Richard Flanagan, and Rohan Wilson.
Mapping the postcolonial novel against the impact of postcolonial cultural theory and Australian writers’ intermittent embrace of literary postmodernism, this survey is also read against the post-millenial ‘history’ and ‘culture wars’ which saw politicizations of national debates around history and fierce contestation over the ways stories of Australian pasts have been written.