Southerly 77.1

Questionable Characters



Questionable characters are the characters we can’t define, forget, resist or feel entirely comfortable with. They challenge our 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.





Sarah Pope: “Re-Storying P.L. Travers: Seduction, Betrayal, and a Fugitive’s Fairy Tale”
Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell: “The Case of a Very Loose Canon: The Shane Martin ‘Pot-boilers’ of George Johnston”
Jonathan Bollen: “Revisiting and Re-imagining The One Day of the Year
Ann-Marie Priest: “‘The Hoax that Misfired’: Gwen Harwood’s Cultural Dissent”
Debra Adelaide: “Re-reading Thea Astley’s Drylands
Luigi Gussago: “True History of a Rogue: Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey”


Alexandra Lewis: “Wells of Sorrow”
Sarah Day: “A Significant Backwater”


Angela Rojter: “The Flinders Lane Sewing Collective”
Suvi H. Derkenne: “Small Spaces”
Jack Cameron Stanton: “The Roaming”
Honni van Rijswijk: “The Pointy Finger of God”
Craig Billingham: “Breathless”


Damen O’Brien: “The Price”
Rose Hunter: “reindeer polish”, “topographies”
Geoff Page: “The Book of Doubt”
Eva Collins: “Capital”
Marion May Campbell: “Bestiary of the virtual correspondents”
Lawrence Bourke: “Death of the Cardinal”
Toby Fitch: “Sapphic Birds”
SK Kelen: “Quiet Times”
Jonathan Dunk: “after / for you”
Murray Jennings: “End of the Jarrah Line”
Elizabeth Smither: “Miss Bowerman and the hot water bottles”
Tim Vallence: “Balliang”
Stu Hatton: “Set Free in America’s Playground”
Mark Young: “Mygration”
Christopher Kelen: “Tang Gals”
Samuel Elliott: “Dissolving Night”
Joel Deane: “A wasp is in the ward”
Brenda Saunders: “Sclerophyll”
Christopher Konrad: “Parched Desert Train”
Kate Moss: “Tidy up your brush strokes”
Corey Wakeling: “Shame”
Ignatius Kim: “By the time I was eight”
Julie Chevalier: “Roadkill”


Elizabeth Webby: of Marilla North, Yarn Spinners
Tony Messenger: of Sarah Holland-Batt, The Hazzards
Caitlin Maling: of Michelle Cahill, The Herring Lass

COVER: Jeleni Telecki, Rejection, 2012. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 9.

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