Is Australia (still) Postcolonial (yet)? Review of Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature, edited by Nathanael O'Reilly
Almost ten years ago, a spate of edited books in Canada by the academics Laura Moss and Cynthia Sugars brought important insights from the then-vibrant field of postcolonial literary studies to bear on questions about Canadian literature. Their work rigorously examined the applicability and difficulty of reading literature from settler societies through the lens of postcolonialism. The challenges and benefits of raising postcolonial issues in Australian literature has been long argued by academics such as Helen Tiffin, Bill Ashcroft, Graham Huggan, Alan Lawson and me, among many others, but no mirror-set of Australian texts has yet been published. 'There is possibly no more vexed question in post-colonial studies than the status of settler colonies' (15) writes Bill Ashcroft in the first chapter of Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature. In a well-written Introduction to the volume, O'Reilly rehearses the challenges to postcolonial approaches in settler literatures, arguing energetically for the inclusion of settler colonies in general and Australia in particular within the ambit of postcolonial literary studies.
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Cite as: Kuttainen, Victoria. ‘Is Australia (still) Postcolonial (yet)? Review of Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature, edited by Nathanael O'Reilly.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 27, no. 2, 2012, doi: 10.20314/als.85f4baef02.