A Family Madness (Magill's Literary Annual 1987)
While it is not yet possible to provide a general assessment of the impact made in the United States by contemporary works of Australian art, there is no doubt that an impact of some magnitude has been felt among critics and tastemakers. Contemporary Australian writers, musicians, and filmmakers currently receive, for the most part deservedly, the quality of attention previously reserved for their British counterparts. Indeed, it may be that the relative decline of Great Britain as a source of artistic innovation has facilitated the emergence of one of its juridical dependencies, an emergence marked by a distinctive accent, resonant voice, and commendable ambition. Cultural historians will probably date this development from the formation of the Oz group in London in the late 1960’s. From the standpoint of literary history, however, the coming into fashion of Australian fiction dates, perhaps accidentally, from the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973 to the novelist Patrick White, until then the only Australian novelist with an international reputation of any magnitude.
Among the Australian novelists who have come to the fore since 1973, pride of place goes to Thomas Keneally. Not only has he been his generation’s most prolific novelist, but he has also been the most varied and inventive in his choice of material and been less confined than some of his contemporaries to his native land. Basically known as a historical novelist, he has...
(The entire section is 2400 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1987)
Contemporary Review. CCXLVIII, January, 1986, p. 45.
Kirkus Reviews. LIV, January 1, 1986, p. 9.
The London Review of Books. VII, November 7, 1985, p. 24.
New Statesman. CX, October 4, 1985, p. 28.
The New York Times Book Review. XCI, March 16, 1986, p. 9.
The New Yorker. LXII, May 19, 1986, p. 118.
Newsweek. CVII, March 31, 1986, p. 70.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXIX, January 17, 1986, p. 62.
Time. CXXVII, March 31, 1986, p. 70.
Times Literary Supplement. October 18, 1985, p. 1169.
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