Halford, James: Reading three great southern lands: from the outback to the pampa and the karoo

Halford, James

Reading three great southern lands: from the outback to the pampa and the karoo‘, The Conversation, 11 July 2016

The common threads of the literature of Argentina, Australia and South Africa as presented in the work of a number of authors such as JM Coetzee, Jorge Luis Borges, Peter Carey, Murray Bail and Helen Garner.

In all three literatures we find the southern hemisphere sunlight, weather, seasons, and stars. We encounter similar landscapes – the outback, the pampa, the karoo – with histories of settler colonialism and resistance. And we encounter immigrant societies where uneven development has created a cultural divide between the large cities and the rest.

The article includes names of authors whose work may be compared. For example, ‘Those who admire the narrative non-fiction of the Australians Helen Garner, Anna Funder and Anna Krien will find a similarly acute ethical vision at work in the writing of the Argentine Leila Guerrero or the South African Anjie Krog.’

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