Claiming Space for Australian Women’s Writing

Co-edited with Sanjukta Dasgupta. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, July 2017. Foreword by Bill Ashcroft. 353 pages.


This volume explores the subterfuges, strategies, and choices that Australian women writers have navigated in order to challenge patriarchal stereotypes and assert themselves as writers of substance. Contextualized within the pioneering efforts of white, Aboriginal, and immigrant Australian women in initiating an alternative literary tradition, the text captures a wide range of multiracial Australian women authors’ insightful reflections on crucial issues such as war and silent mourning, emergence of a Australian national heroine, racial purity and Aboriginal motherhood, communism and activism, feminist rivalry, sexual transgressions, autobiography and art of letter writing, city space and female subjectivity, lesbianism, gender implications of spatial categories, placement and displacement, dwelling and travel, location and dislocation and female body politics. Claiming Space for Australian Women’s Writing tracks Australian women authors’ varied journeys across cultural, political and racial borders in the canter of contemporary political discourse.


Editorial Reviews


“This lively collection of essays, organized thematically into five sections, brings new perspectives to bear on Australian women’s writing from the late nineteenth century onwards. Highly recommended.” (Deirdre Coleman, Robert Wallace Chair of English, University of Melbourne, Australia)

“This new collection of essays claims a space for Australian women’s writing not only in Australian literature but in our broader readings of space and environment, race and indigeneity, gender and sexuality, women’s lives and women’s careers. It brings a new transnational dimension to our understanding of Australian women’s writing.” (David Carter, Professor of Australian Literature and Cultural History, School of Communication and Arts, The University of Queensland, Australia)

“A spectacularly comprehensive account of Australian women’s writing as mediated by a transnational Indian perspective. It will undoubtedly generate many new research directions and collaborations.” (Sneja Gunew, Professor Emerita, English/ Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, University of British Columbia, Canada)

There are many stories which are not on paper. They're written in the bodies and minds of women.