Alexis Wright's publishing history in three contexts: Australian Aboriginal, national, and international
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Reproduced with permission from Wayne State University Press.
In order to better understand and appreciate Alexis Wright’s publishing history, it is important to first place it in the context of the publishing history of Australian Aboriginal literature. Only then can one properly situate it in the larger context of Australian literature. Finally, for full effect, Wright’s publishing history should be placed in the context of the international literary marketplace. In doing so, this article moves beyond the trends that have monopolized the attention of other scholars of Australian Aboriginal literature and its publishing history. As documented in this article, these trends overemphasize the 1980s, certain genres (especially poetry and life writing), Australian Aboriginal publishing houses, and non-Aboriginal editors. Focusing on these trends has resulted in a scholarly obsession with a type of Australian Aboriginal writing that is undoubtedly abundant but is not necessarily the most widely read. Although Wright may not be emblematic of the trends that have been narrated in great detail by scholars of Australian Aboriginal literature and its publishing history, she is certainly emblematic of the need to expand beyond the frameworks currently governing this discussion. Doing so has the potential to challenge established ways of thinking about national and indigenous literary traditions, and the public’s understanding of Australian Aboriginal literature will be richer for it.
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