Tim Winton: Critical Essays edited by Lyn McCredden and Nathanael O’Reilly

Reviewed by
October 2014, no. 365
Critical essays on Australia’s ‘most popular’ novelist

Tim Winton: Critical Essays

edited by Lyn McCredden and Nathanael O’Reilly

UWA Publishing, $34.99 pb, 342 pp, 9781742586069

Tim Winton: Critical Essays edited by Lyn McCredden and Nathanael O’Reilly

Reviewed by
October 2014, no. 365

Sitting, a few years ago, in the audience at a writers’ festival in the south-west of Western Australia, at a panel session hosted by Jennifer Byrne, I was struck by the widespread reaction to one of the panellists announcing that the book she had chosen to discuss was Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet (now securely canonised as an ‘Australian national classic’, as Fiona Morrison’s essay in this volume points out). A ripple of reverential approval went through the auditorium and discreet murmurs of ‘my favourite book’ were exchanged. This response demonstrated the feeling aroused by Winton and his work in a large section of the general reading public, particularly in the West.

The introduction to this major collection of critical essays on Winton’s work opens on this note. Winton is ‘one of Australia’s most popular … novelists’. Yet, for the editors, the national – and increasingly international – popularity of Winton’s writing has perhaps complicated and delimited critical attention to that work and its undeniable literariness – that is, he is both a ‘popular and literary’ writer. Their hope is that this volume ‘will begin to redress the relative dearth of critical debate about the literature of Tim Winton’.

Critical essays on Australia’s ‘most popular’ novelist

Tim Winton: Critical Essays

edited by Lyn McCredden and Nathanael O’Reilly

UWA Publishing, $34.99 pb, 342 pp, 9781742586069

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.