Australian Gay and Lesbian Writing

In this landmark collection of Australian writing spanning well over a century, an Australia emerges that is radically different from the cliched land of bronzed lifesavers and long-suffering sheepfarmers' wives. Robert Dessaix's anthology reflects the diversity, non-conformity and ambiguity that have always been features of Australian society. Remarkably, it confirms that few of the country's most celebrated writers, regardless of their sexuality, have not, at one time or another, written on homosexual themes. Patrick White, David Malouf, Elizabeth Jolley, Frank Moorhouse and Helen Garner are all included, along with a number of newer writers. This rare openness to the illicit and the subversive is just one of the revelations in an entertaining and provocative volume. Through the fiction, poetry and drama of over forty writers, the collection traces the flowering of a rich variety of homosexual sensibilities from colonial times to the present. In a long introductory overview of the literature, Robert Dessaix suggests a number of stimulating readings, and states that his primary consideration is always pleasure for the reader. Erotic, raffish, refined, romantic, rebellious and always perverse, this anthology celebrates the adventurousness and sophistication of Australian writing in ways that cast an exciting new light on Australian cultural history.

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