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Article
Changes in Tone, Setting, and Publisher: Indigenous Literatures of Australia and New Zealand from the 1980s to Today
Transnational Literature (2016)
  • Per Henningsgaard, Portland State University
Abstract
This article examines four novels written since 1980 by two Aboriginal Australian authors and two Maori authors. Two of the four novels were written near the beginning of this period and feature settings that are contemporary with their publication; The Day of the Dog by Aboriginal Australian author Archie Weller was published in 1981, while Once Were Warriors by Maori author Alan Duff was published in 1990. The other two novels (That Deadman Dance by Aboriginal Australian author Kim Scott and The Trowenna Sea by Maori author Witi Ihimaera) are works of historical fiction written in the last decade.
It is tempting to ascribe the shifts in tone and setting over this 30-year period to the changing social and political realities surrounding the issue of Indigenous relations in the two nations. And these factors undoubtedly played an important role in the aforementioned shifts; Indigenous authors writing today are responding to a different social and political reality compared to Indigenous authors writing in the 1980s and early 1990s. What this explanation overlooks, however, are the concurrent changes in the publication of Indigenous literature and how these might contribute to the types of changes described in this article.
Disciplines
Publication Date
2016
Citation Information
Per Henningsgaard. "Changes in Tone, Setting, and Publisher: Indigenous Literatures of Australia and New Zealand from the 1980s to Today" Transnational Literature Vol. 8 Iss. 2 (2016) ISSN: 1836-4845
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/per-henningsgaard/12/