University Of Tasmania

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Writing home: walking, literature and belonging in Australia’s red centre

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 01:29 authored by Rolls, M
Morrison’s Writing Home is an important and ambitious work that among other things systematically contests two current orthodoxies: one being that Central Australia is an exemplar of Australia’s enduring frontier; the other that settler Australians will always be alien to the land in which they dwell. In picking apart these shibboleths, some will no doubt proclaim Writing Home is controversial and inimical to Aboriginal aspirations and the realisation of restitution for dispossession. This would be to misread Morrison. Morrison also addresses a significant lacuna in Australian literary scholarship, that being the paucity of critical literature addressing writing of and about the Centre, despite the existence of a significant regional corpus. Given the influence of the Northern Territory in constructions of Australian identity, it is peculiar, as Morrison points out, that there is so little evaluation of the local literature informing these constructions (34). Nevertheless, his book is not a survey of this body of literature. Rather it selects key texts from different eras with which to illustrate his overarching argument. Texts selected are by those who have walked, no matter how briefly (Chatwin for example), the Central Australian places of which they write.


Publication title

Studies in Travel Writing






School of Humanities



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Understanding Australia’s past

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