The Fiction of Thea Astley

by Susan Sheridan


"Susan Sheridan relishes the complexity and dark comedy of Thea Astley's writing and honours her stand against greed, corruption, class prejudice, racism, and violence. The Fiction of Thea Astley not only places Astley within an international literary context but effectively confirms her as an outstanding Australian fiction writer." —Journal of Australian Studies

"Sheridan says, ‘One of my hopes for this book is that it will contribute to confirming her reputation as a major novelist.’ Sheridan herself is one of the most respected and reliable scholars in Australian literary studies, and this book should certainly fulfil her hopes for it; she is one of those critics who can manage to be engaging and readable without any glossing over or dumbing down of complex ideas. ... Unlike any critical discussion of Astley’s work that has preceded it, this book not only offers multiple comparative analyses of different novels, but also represents a kind of stepping back: a broadening of critical perspective to look at Astley’s entire oeuvre as a single entity, and to discern it." —Australian Book Review

"Susan Sheridan’s recent critical volume, The Fiction of Thea Astley (2016) is the first volume to cover all 16 of Astley’s works.This gives a sense of the development and breadth of Astley’s oeuvre, as well as her shift in setting from surburbia to small town to remote tropical locations. A highlight of the volume is its balanced attention to Astley’s critique of race and gender relations. Importantly, Sheridanexplores how this is achieved creatively through an ongoing experimentation with the novel and short story form, narrative perspective, and a rich lyricism."—Australian Feminist Studies

"The Fiction of Thea Astley is an important book, both in its imaginative reach, its stylish form, and its critical insights about the fiction of Thea Astley. It offers the benefits of deep scholarship in a refreshingly readable style, making it the perfect choice for newcomers to Astley’s work. It is also possible for more informed readers to gain a lot from Sheridan’s approach since there is an elegant simplicity at work in her broader frame of reference to works by other writers and scholars." - The Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia

"The Fiction of Thea Astley is an erudite and cogent deconstruction of the primary and auxiliary thematic preoccupations of Astley’s oeuvre. Sheridan’s intimate knowledge of Astley’s bibliography is admirable and supports her analytical and critical conclusions."- Transnational Literature


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