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Just Words? Australian Authors Writing For Justice
by

Can words make Australia a better place? Can writing help to inform a collective national consciousness?Over the past decade Australians have witnessed a significant shift to more insular and conservative economic, ethical and cultural norms. The problems of valuing and achieving justice seem more acute than ever, yet the solutions to those problems are not obvious nor are those in power taking the lead. These essays - from poets, essayists, academics, playwrights, critics and novelists - demonstrate how it is possible for writing to articulate concerns of justice, enlighten the broader community and move citizens to action.

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Overview

Can words make Australia a better place? Can writing help to inform a collective national consciousness?

Over the past decade Australians have witnessed a significant shift to more insular and conservative economic, ethical and cultural norms. The problems of valuing and achieving justice seem more acute than ever, yet the solutions to those problems are not obvious nor are those in power taking the lead.

In this powerful collection, Australian writers including Gail Jones, Eva Sallis, and Frank Brennan explore the relationship between writing and justice, a relationship utterly dependent on informed, ethical readers. These essays - from poets, essayists, academics, playwrights, critics, and novelists - demonstrate how it is possible for writing to articulate concerns of justice, enlighten the broader community, and move citizens to action. These beautifully crafted essays unflinchingly provoke, upset, stimulate and propel us into action.

The authors feel deeply about the big-picture questions that confront Australia, the traditional land of the 'fair go'. Reading some of these essays will cause anger; others, despair. Yet, so long as Australian writing can produce the ompressed intelligence found in these pages, we will still be a 'Lucky Country' ... lucky because we still have authors able to prick our conscience and to make us think about causes that really matter.

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Bernadette Brennan, author of Reading the Landscape: A Celebration of Australian Writing, and Just Words? Australian Authors Writing For Justice
Photo by Murray Harris Photography

Bernadette Brennan

Bernadette Brennan is a lecturer in Australian Literature at the University of Sydney, where she gained her PhD in 2001 and was awarded the Eva Veronika Vidak Memorial Prize for the best thesis on an Australian topic. Bernadette’s research interest is in the field of Literature and Ethics. She has published in Australian Literary Studies, JASAL, Southerly, Antipodes and The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Departures: How Australia Reinvents Itself (MUP 2002), Australian Literature and the Public Sphere (ASAL 1998) and Australian Writing and the City (ASAL 1999). She has co-edited JASAL (2005) and Southerly (2007) and is on the Editorial Board for Studies in Australasian Cinema. Bernadette is currently working on a critical study of Brian Castro’s writing.