Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Australian Romance

Last week I made an appearance at the Australian Women Writers blog, talking about Australian romance (you'll have to scroll down the page a little to get to my guest-post). More expert opinions on the topic are to be found in

Sold by the Millions: Australia’s Bestsellers
Editor: Toni Johnson-Woods and Amit Sarwal
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Date Of Publication: March 2012

The book contains a chapter by Hsu-Ming Teo on "Britishness and Australian Popular Fiction: From the Mid-nineteenth to the Mid-twentieth Centuries":
She concludes that while children’s and men’s popular fiction “successfully indigenised or even Americanised after the Second World War, the same was not necessarily true of the bulk women’s romance novels, even at century’s end.” The reason for this, according to Teo, were the “conditions of national and international Anglophone publishing in the twentieth century” that to a large extent “shaped Australian popular fiction in such a way that women’s romance novels remained tied to the apron strings of empire, attentive to the demands of British editors and an overseas market even as a distinctive postcolonial ‘Australianness’ was
asserted.” (xi)
and a chapter by Juliet Flesch, "The Wide Brown Land and the Big Smoke: The Setting of Australian Popular Romance":
Juliet Flesch in her chapter, focusing on the mass appeal of Australian popular romances, examines how far the Australia’s romance novelist’s “portrayal of the natural or built environment” and Australian society “reflects Australian reality”? She concludes that “the impressions overseas readers will gain from some Australian romance novels at least is reasonably accurate,” as “the society described in modern Australian romances reflects the way Australians like to see themselves––egalitarian, optimistic, resilient, welcoming, etc.” (xii)
I haven't read the book (it's not out till March) but more details and a link to an excerpt (which includes the foreword) can be found here.

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