Cover image for The Oxford companion to Australian literature
The Oxford companion to Australian literature
Wilde, W. H. (William Henry)
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Melbourne ; New York : Oxford University Press, [1994]

Physical Description:
x, 833 pages ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR9600.2 .W55 1994 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature, which now appears in a fully revised and updated second edition, provides a concise but comprehensive account of Australian writing from European settlement in 1788 to 1993. Its chief aim is to present the most important achievements of Australianliterature in the major fields of poetry, fiction and drama, but considerable attention has also been paid to non-fictional prose and to the impact on Australian literature of those historical events which served not only as catalysts but also as the subject matter of so much of it.William Wilde and Joy Hooton - building on the 1985 edition which was co-authored by the late Barry Andrews - present an even more diverse record of literary achievement. The new Companion reflects three major changes in the literary culture: the emergence of Aboriginal writing, the increase in andrecognition of multicultural writing, and the great increase in women's writing in all genres. The new edition also relects the substantial research achievements of literary historians, textual critics, bibliographers, biographers and the impact of critical reinterpretations based on such 'new'approaches as feminism and post-colonialism.Every entry has been reappraised and, where necessary, revised and expanded. During the 1980s several Australian writers won international reputations. Many of them - Malouf, Garner, Murray, Jolley, Carey and Williamson - produced some of their key works after the first edition of the Companion wascompleted, and their entries have been rewritten accordingly. In addition, a new generation of writers has been included - Brett, Halligan, Henshaw, Castro, Grenville, Masters and Hodgins, to name just a few.Reviewing the first edition, A.D. Hope acclaimed it as a 'landmark'. In the greatly expanded second edition, the authors provide a fuller and more contemporary record of the national literature.

Author Notes

William Wilde is Emeritus Professor, and Joy Hooton Associate Professor at the Australian Defense Force Academy's Department of English, Canberra.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Thoroughly revised and greatly expanded, this new edition (1st edition, 1985) contains 500 new entries, while the recycled ones have been reexamined and updated where necessary. The editors have also expanded the scope of the work to include not only writers of belles lettres but also historians, critics, and journalists. In addition to authors, entries include, inter alia, cultural organizations, historical events, idioms, places, and publishers. The new edition also devotes more space to multicultural and women's writing, offering a more inclusive view of present-day Australian society. Although the Companion meticulously lists and summarizes the works of its chosen authors, it often omits critical commentary, which would be particularly helpful for those using this reference work as the first stop for information. Still, this is a very thorough and up-to-date source, particularly valuable for information on the current literary scene in Australia and indispensable for academic and public libraries. L. Siegelbaum; Michigan State University