Questionable characters are the characters we can’t define, forget, resist or feel entirely comfortable with. They challenge out values and beliefs and surprise us with new imaginings of ethos. This issue of Southerly draws together a rich and eclectic range or essays, poetry and fiction. Luigi Gussago argues that Peter Carey’s histories present a challenge to the univocal false-consciousness of Australian colonial history, while Debra Adelaide’s Reading Australia essay on Thea Astley’s Drylands argues that Astley draws “text, author and reader into an embrace so intimate they are barely distinguishable”. The detective fiction “pot-boilers” of Shane Martin, AKA George Johnston, are considered in a new light by Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalzeill. Martin’s detective figure, Challis, “the moon-drifted leprechaun,” is a questionable character, par excellence. All this, plus Southerly’s usual feast of the best new poetry and fiction from Australia and New Zealand, and reviews of the same.
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Jonathan Dunk, Of Carmel Bird, Family Skeleton*
*Some files went AWOL when our site went down in 2021. We are endeavouring to relocate and return them to where they belong. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have a copy.