Inner and Outer Worlds: Gail Jones’ fiction
Sydney University Press, $45 pb, 192 pp
The novels of Gail Jones present a challenge to would-be critics. Jones being a formidable scholar in her own right, her eight novels to date pose sophisticated philosophical questions within their elegantly structured narratives. Her novels canvass aspects of human experience that are murky and complex: these are often forms of familial or romantic relationship shaped by loss, both personal and historical. The challenge for critics is that the novels are themselves thinking about the potential of fiction to do this kind of philosophical or ethical work. In this sense, Jones might seem to be one step ahead of the scholar who takes her work as their subject. Inner and Outer Worlds, a collection of essays edited by Anthony Uhlmann, steps up to this challenge.