Wild Life

Allen & Unwin
2004, 1
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Background - The borders between genre fiction and literary fiction are growing more porous, with conventions of each crosspollinating in ways not seen previously. Since Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote, the blending of genres has produced many of the worlds greatest works of literature. In recent years the merging of genres such as the realist novel, journalism and detective fiction have produced original hybrids of literature. With the emergence of new communication technologies and systems for delivering text, we are witnessing a breakdown of traditional generic borders and the emergence of new genres. If genres are a way of interpreting and representing our world, then as our methods of viewing the world change, so do genres. Contribution - During the past 20 years I have explored and experimented with the blending of genres: literary fiction with true crime, detective fiction and biography; and more recently in Wild Life with the merging of travel writing, essay and memoir. Significance - Wild Life is an original contribution to creative writing that is part true crime, part memoir and part fiction. It combines extensive research into the history of Beaumaris Zoo, home to the last thylacine in captivity, and research into the failed tobacco industry in rural Tasmania prior to World War 2, with travel writing and philosophical issues. It provides practitioners with a model to use when hybridising genres. Its importance was attested to by the Sydney Morning Herald who described Wild Life as outstanding and the quality of the writing as seamless.
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