The single most important insight…

I completed my Higher School Certificate way back in 1992.  Commencing university in 2016 (I’ll let you do the math as to how old I am) as a mature age student is both an advantage as I have had more life experience than some of my fellow students, and a disadvantage as I haven’t studied in a long time.

The single most important insight that has come to me from this week’s study of Australian literature is how much I have actually missed it. During high school I recall studying the poems of Judith Wright and at the time not really appreciating her skill as a poet. As I have gotten older I have come to understand her romantic outlook of the world and her relationship towards nature and the passion Wright showed toward the landscape of Australia.  I don’t remember studying any Australian novels at that time. I assume there were some- maybe they were not part of the curriculum?

Starting our exploration into Australian literature with Kim Scott’s `That Deadman’s Dance’  has jogged my memory of two fantastic novels that I have read in the last few years. While as Lit students we have a huge amount of reading material before us, if any of you reading this entry  are looking for more works I highly recommend the following books.

`Jasper Jones’ by Craig Silvey.   Set in a rural mining town in Western Australia, during the summer of 1965, a socially awkward 14 year old boy has a late night visit from Jasper Jones, a young local outcast due to his `White-Aboriginal’ heritage who has discovered a terrible crime has been committed.

The second novel I recommend is called `The Light between the Oceans’ by M.L Stedman.  Set in the 1920’s on the Western Australian south west coast, it tells the story of a recently returned WW1 solider and his wife who take up residency on a small isolated island operating the lighthouse when one day a small dinghy washes ashore with a dead man with a small, barely alive infant. The next chain of events will  change everyone forever.

I am looking forward to the coming semester and exploring more Australian works.


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