The reviewer is assistant professor, department of English, Dr Kanailal Bhattacharya College, Howrah, and guest lecturer, Calcutta University)
Exclusion from the cultural and literary mainstream is an experience that women writers everywhere have had to contend with for millennia. It has been a common struggle for women writers and feminist scholars globally to claim intellectual space within the predominantly patriarchal literary canon. Kept outside the “male stream”, and relegated to the margins of Australian national culture, the Australian women writers too have faced neglect.
Claiming Space for Australian Women’s Writing, edited by eminent South Asian scholars Devaleena Das and Sanjukta Dasgupta, attempts to redress this gendered marginalisation of Australian women writers and assert their centrality in Australian culture and literature. This edited volume presents 18 well researched scholarly articles by renowned academics and researchers, grouped thematically into four sections.
Enriched with an introduction that locates the contemporary Australian women writers in their historical and critical context, this volume showcases the varied and vibrant corpus of Australian women’s writing, not damning them with indifference or “faint-praise”, but by charting a vigorous, mature and inclusive tradition of women writers — white, aboriginal, immigrant, coloured, queer, canonical or forgotten; and celebrating more than a hundred years of Australian women’s writing.
Covering a wide trajectory of representative women writers from the late 19th century to the present times and scrutinising a vast array of genres-letters, diaries, poetry, mothers’ laments, nurse narratives, novels, romance, druginduced accounts, aboriginal writing, protest poetry, feminist, queer and immigrant writings, this volume builds awareness about the central issues of Australian women’s literature — their search for identity, equality, creative freedom and literary space, self-discovery, conflict and meaning as well as their gendered reading of Australian life and society.
The essays in this collection are particularly commendable for their new and innovative perspectives. Dealing with writers as diverse as Alice Muskett, Katherine Susannah Prichard, Kate Grenville, Judith Wright, Romaine Morton, Jackie Huggins, to name a few, the essays not only emphasise the heterogeneity of these Australian women writers but also their interconnectedness….
Continued via… Source: Veritable archive of scholarly material – The Statesman