Australian creative non-fiction: Perspectives and opinions

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Journal Article
eJournalist, 2011, 11 (2), pp. 31 - 52
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Figures confirm that Australians avidly read their creative non-fiction. But most would be unable to name the genre; it is not as widely defined or discussed in Australia as it is in the USA and UK, where it is actively debated and anthologised. This paper goes to the heart of the genre in Australia, investigating through narrative interview why there is not more of an Australian voice in this international debate. It examines the perspectives and views of twelve of the country's most widely read, awarded and respected creative non-fiction authors, drawing them into the discussion. There appears a wide spread disinterest from those who write creative non-fiction in this country to label it as such. But a disinterest in categorisation does not discredit the validity of the writing - indeed, this disinterest lends itself to an idiosyncratic character, or one of many 'different national manifestations' around the world. The writings of creative non-fiction authors in Australia are an integral part of a social history, and as such must be studied and collated as our own 'cultural pathway'. The international debate is an important one to take part in, as a collective impetus grows to legitimise the genre as a collection of differing national cultural assets.
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