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The Solemn Lantern Maker (Novel)
  • Merlinda C. Bobis, University of Wollongong
  • era2012,
  • era2010
Publication Date
January 1, 2008
Pier 9, Murdoch Books
Publisher Statement

Bobis, M. C. (2008). The Solemn Lantern Maker. Pier 9, Murdoch Books Pty Ltd., Sydney, NSW, 208p. [Novel] Author's web page for the novel, with additional information - here.



Research Background
The novel has often been employed to critique the politics of the times. The 'big politics', reinforced by official history, media spin, economics or the language of the war machine, erases the small, human story. So, how can this human tale be re-instated in the public discourse?

Research Contribution
This novel deploys the small, human story to subvert various master narratives: the Philippine's history of colonisation (under Spain, US and Japan), its national politics, its economics, and its militarism in the context of the global war on terror as shaped by US foreign policy. This narrative is a ‘counter-language’ against the discourse on terrorism of the Bush administration. While set in 'a small life' in the Philippines, this is a transnational novel about how different nationalities live and tell interconnected stories. It examines the politics and ethics of story-making.

Research Significance
Published in Australia (Murdoch Books) and the US (Random), the novel was well reviewed in major papers (‘The Australian’, ‘The Age’, ‘The Boston Globe’). It was featured in two ABC Radio National programs: 'Perspective' and 'The Book Show'. It was taught at universities in Australia and the US. The author’s lectures on the novel have been hosted by universities in Australia: Melbourne University, Adelaide University; in the US: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California Berkeley, Sonoma State University, Wheaton College; and Spain: University of Zaragoza, University of Vigo. It was the subject of a paper presented at an international conference by a Spanish scholar.

Citation Information
Merlinda C. Bobis. The Solemn Lantern Maker (Novel). Sydney(2008)
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