One Another by Gail Jones
It is 1992, the year of the Mabo judgment, and Helen, a scholarship student from Tasmania, is undertaking a PhD at Cambridge, writing a thesis titled ‘Cryptomodernism and Empire’. It is on Joseph Conrad, a writer about whom her peers are contemptuous. Helen is dealing with a forlorn and dismissive supervisor, and the disappointment that her experience abroad was not what she had expected. Her ‘fantasy of vigorous literary talk, multisyllabic and theoretical, was soon defeated’.