Tony Hughes-d’Aeth reviews 'The Fiction of Tim Winton: Earthed and sacred' by Lyn McCredden

Tony Hughes-d’Aeth reviews 'The Fiction of Tim Winton: Earthed and sacred' by Lyn McCredden

The Fiction of Tim Winton: Earthed and sacred

by Lyn McCredden

Sydney University Press, $30 pb, 165 pp, 9781743325032

Tim Winton is embarrassing to Australian literary critics. It is not that it is impossible to form adequate literary judgements about the nature of his work. It is simply that any judgements one might form seem so totally irrelevant. Winton’s work makes plain a certain disconnect between the interests and imperatives of Australian literary criticism and those of the reading public who buy each of his titles in their hundreds of thousands.

Lyn McCredden has bravely decided to broach this impasse in The Fiction of Tim Winton. The book is published by Sydney University Press, which is slowly filling the role once played by UQP in publishing literary studies of Australian authors. McCredden’s book on Winton joins Robert Dixon’s excellent study of Alex Miller, Nicholas Birns’s astute assessment of contemporary Australian literature, and Brigitta Olubas’s edited collection of essays on Shirley Hazzard, all from Sydney.

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Tony Hughes-d'Aeth

Tony Hughes-d'Aeth

Tony Hughes-d’Aeth is a senior lecturer in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia. He is the author of Like Nothing on this Earth: A literary history of the wheatbelt (UWA Publishing, 2017) and Paper Nation: The Story of the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia, 1886–1888 (Melbourne University Press, 2001).

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